It’s a phenomenon that happens before every NFL draft.
Certain college prospects ultimately become fan favorites for certain teams, and, to be honest, it’s only natural—most franchises have obvious needs and there is usually a player or two at that those positions that fit for each team.
Yet four days before the draft starts, let me introduce you to another name that should be among Reed and Heyward:
Kentucky’s former do-it-all receiver might just be the perfect pick for the Packers.
To start, Cobb might be the most versatile player in the 2011 NFL Draft.
He comes into the draft as a receiver, but Cobb made his name in high school as an All-State quarterback. When he got to Kentucky, Cobb stayed as a quarterback—making the SEC All-Freshman at that position in 2008.
In addition to playing receiver and quarterback, Cobb also saw time at running back, returner and holder. That isn’t a misprint—Cobb held for field goals and extra points for Kentucky.
WIldcats coach Joker Phillips had a hard time keeping Cobb off the field. Here’s what he told ESPNlast year:
“We want his hands on the ball as much as possible. He understands the game and understands how to get things done. That’s his comfort zone. There’s nothing on the football field that he cannot do. He eats it. He sleeps it. He drinks it.”
That sounds like a football player to me. But there’s a reason he was on the field so much. When Cobb had the ball in his hands—and he had it a lot—good things happened for Kentucky.
In three seasons, Cobb racked up nearly 4700 total yards (1661 receiving, 1313 rushing, 689 passing, 1081 kick returns, 619 punt returns) and was responsible for 42 touchdowns (13 receiving, 22 rushing, five passing, two punt returns).
There’s very few players in this draft, or any draft for that matter, who can match what Cobb did at Kentucky over such a broad spectrum of areas.
If drafted by the Packers, Cobb would immediately be the kick and punt returner, giving Green Bay their first special teams threat since Allen Rossum.
And if James Jones leaves like many expect him to, Cobb could also step in and be another dangerous threat in the passing game.
He’s still a little raw as a receiver, but think a step-slower version of Percy Harvin.
Cobb could have that same kind of impact for the Packers, and I’d imagine that coach Mike McCarthy could find several ways to get Cobb the ball right off the bat.
Convinced yet? It gets better.
Not only is Cobb an ideal fit on the field, but he also fits the character profile of what’s now known as “Packers People.”
Cobb has a squeaky clean background, and he worked with numerous charities and organizations at Kentucky, including Read Across America, Relay for Life and several hospitals in the Lexington area.
However, it’s his passion for football that gives him a solid chance at landing with the Packers. Read what he told The Sporting News (4/11):
“I tell NFL coaches I’m willing to do anything—play on special teams, be a gunner, whatever. I love the game so much and have such a passion for the game, I just want to be on the field.”
The guy is a top-10 prospect at the position in football which features the most divas and “me-first” players, yet he’s talking about playing special teams?
Cobb sounds like a player who Packers GM Ted Thompson would absolutely fall in love with.
But where would they take him?
I’m sure he rates high on Thompson’s board, but it’s hard to say if he would be good value at No. 32. However, I think chances are high that the Packers either trade down from 32, or up from 64, making it likely that Thompson could pull the trigger on Cobb in one of those scenarios.
And while it’s nearly impossible to figure out what Thompson is going to do come draft day, Cobb might be among the safest bets.
His name might not get called by the Packers in a few days, but you’d be hard pressed to find a player who harmonizes with what the Packers like in draft prospects more than Cobb.
He’s versatile, fills a couple of needs and fits the profile of what Thompson likes in football players.
And, by the time the Packers decide to make their first pick, he may just be the best player left on the board.
You might not agree with me, and Thompson might not either, but Cobb sounds like the perfect prospect for the Packers.