Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Randall Cobb Is Really Good, and Really Young

The Journal-Sentinel spoke to WR Randall Cobb about his role next season now that WR Greg Jennings and WR Donald Driver are gone, and whether he'll return kicks and punts next season, but this is the number that blew me away:
I knew he was young, but I hadn't been thinking about it. He's been a very good player in his first two NFL seasons and he's only 22 years old! He will turn 23 by the start of next season, but still. It's reasonable to assume that he can play at the same level (or better) throughout his 20s.

He was a huge part of the offense last season, he led the team with 104 targets, and assuming WR Jordy Nelson plays in all 16 games next season, Cobb might not be targeted more in 2013. He received some help from his role in the offense, which generally featured shorter routes than those ran by Nelson or WR James Jones, but his 77% catch rate was ahead of those other two receivers by at least 10% and he was ranked by Football Outsiders as their best receiver (No. 12 overall).

His role probably won't change next season because the deep sideline routes ran by Jennings last season could go to Jones and Nelson, while the routes he ran from the slot could go to TE Jermichael Finley or another tight end. Even without Jennings, the Packers have left themselves with a lot of receiving options.

Cobb was modest and told the Journal-Sentinel that he still had a lot to learn, which is probably true, so it could very well mean that his best football is still ahead of him. And he could remain a No. 1 wide receiver for the next several seasons. There aren't a lot of teams that have a receiver like that on their roster.

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