2011 NFL Draft Analysis: Packers Randall Cobb


Sometimes, the rich get richer, as the cliché often goes. The Green Bay Packers are the defending Super Bowl champions and certainly do not have any shortage of talent in the passing game. They certainly added another key cog to their arsenal when they picked Kentucky’s Randall Cobb with the 64th selection in the second round of this year’s NFL draft.

Cobb may turn out to be a great value selection for the Packers. He is versatile and durable, and can make an immediate impact on special teams. Cobb is also a playmaker who has natural skills for making things happen after the catch, and he could be an Aaron Rodgers favorite for a long time to come. Cobb could not hide his excitement of being picked by the Pack, even though he may have waited a bit longer than expected to have his name called in April.

“I would have waited for the seventh round if I knew I was going to Green Bay,” Cobb said. “It was a little frustrating, but God works in mysterious ways.”

Now, the Packers get to toss Cobb into their receiving salad (sorry, could not resist, and there’s going to be a lot of that in Green Bay now – I guess the Cheddar Cheese Cobb Salad will soon become a standard in Wisconsin). While he fills an instant need as a kick returner, Donald Driver is 36 years old and James Jones may leave via free agency. Jordy Nelson may be ready for a breakthrough season and should work well with Greg Jennings, yet Cobb can slide in nicely with is what still is a deep group now, while he has a lot of promise for the future. At the least, he can be a quality No. 3 WR for the Packers early in his career. He can start at some point if Nelson does not blossom as hoped.

“Hopefully I can add and contribute in the slot or on the outside,” Cobb said. “The way they run the plays and call their plays is similar to when I was at Kentucky.”

Watching Cobb on film, it appears he is a good fit for the Packers quick-strike passing attack. Cobb has good hands, catches the ball in stride and then can really make things happen once the ball is in his hands. He has excellent vision and open-field instincts in the open field. While he does not possess top-end speed, Cobb knows how to get behind defenders and separate from them once he can see daylight. He is also not afraid to make a catch in traffic if he has to.

“I’ve never been scared to go across the middle,” Cobb said. “I’ve never been scared of taking a hit.”

Going to a team that has accomplished pass-catchers such as Driver and Jennings can truly help Cobb reach his potential as a pro. Another luxury of having a pretty deep receiving crew for Cobb and the Packers is that Cobb can find his niche in the passing game early on without being overwhelmed right away by the challenges he will face. Cobb does not need to make an immediate impact as a starter, and can truly burst on the scene as a primary wideout when the Packers feel he is truly ready.

(They have) great experience,” Cobb said. “That’s something I’m going to be able to take a lot of value from, having guys like Greg Jennings and Donald Driver up there, and being able to learn from them. I think that’s going to be the biggest thing that’s going to help my success.”

Cobb played in a diverse offense in college, and was known for some nifty moves as a receiver, returner and even a ballcarrier. He will be an immediate threat as a returner and add new dimensions to the Green Bay special teams. The knocks on him are that he is still a work in progress as a wideout and needs to refine some of his technical skills. Drops were also an issue for him at time. Yet again, though, Cobb could not be entering a better situation for a young guy that still needs to learn.

“Being able to play for such a dominant team and a team that is known for winning and a program, an organization that’s had so much success in it’s history; and to have a young team and young quarterback and great receiving corps, it’s going to be a great experience.”

Look for Cobb to fit in well with the Packers right away as an extra receiving threat. He’s confident and will make some key plays for his new team. Aaron Rodgers certainly will welcome yet another weapon to challenge defenses with. As soon as his second year, Cobb can become an very integral part of the passing game. Do not be surprised if he lands a notable spot on many Fantasy Football teams by then. Cobb hopes you will draft him.

“I love interacting with fans and being able to talk to them,” Cobb said. “I think it would be pretty cool if I could get picked up in somebody’s Fantasy league.”

Scott Engel joined RotoExperts.com in 2008 after four years at ESPN.com, where he was an Associate Editor and Fantasy Writer. He began his career as a Fantasy professional in 1996 at CBS Sportsline, where he served as Managing Editor of Fantasy Sports and Senior Writer during his tenure. In 2006, Scott was named Fantasy Football Writer of the Year by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association in his first year of eligibility. Since joining RotoExperts, Scott's work has also appeared regularly on NFL.com and Yahoo Sports. Scott hosts the RotoExperts morning drive program on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio. In 2011, Scott was inducted into the Fantasy Sports Writers Association's Hall of Fame as a member of the inaugural class. You may email Scott @ scotte@rotoexperts.com or follow him on Twitter @scotteRotoEx


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