It’s hard for me to emphasize just how much I like what Randall Cobb is doing for the Green Bay Packers offense. No, it’s not just his beautiful eyes that I’m loving, but it’s the go-to status the young wide receiver is reaching in his second year with the Packers.
His stats so far this year are good, but not spectacular. He has 29 receptions for 346 yards and 1 touchdown, in addition to 2 rushes for 48 yards. But, as we all know, stats rarely tell the whole story. Cobb has been the guy to go to when the Green Bay offense has threatened to become stagnant, as we’ve seen several times this year. Dropped passes, un-Aaron-Rodgers-like throws from Aaron Rodgers and an ineffective running game have put the Packers in the unfamiliar situation of needing an offensive spark. On a team with receiving threats like Jordy Nelson, Greg Jennings (when he’s been healthy), and James Jones, Cobb has been impressive in providing that spark when opportunities have come his way.
The thing that I like most about him is his versatility. The Packers like to move him around the field and use him in unexpected ways. He works the screen game, the deep ball, the middle of the field, comes out of the backfield; he even lined up in the occasional Wildcat last year. On top of that, he’s the Packers’ primary punt and kick returner. In an area where the Packers have struggled for over a decade, Cobb’s return skills give the offense a little bit of breathing room when it comes to field position.
His versatility and adaptability make him hard to cover. Defenses don’t quite know what to do with him. Cobb, no doubt, benefits from the strong receiving corps surrounding him, often leaving him one-on-one with a defender. It’s depth like this that made the Packers so dangerous last year, and that threat is still present. Cobb is not the best receiver on the team, maybe not even the second, third, or even fourth best, but he’s dangerous. He’s a playmaker. He’s quick, elusive, and has great field vision.
When a team is as unfairly stacked in the receiving department as the Packers are, I can’t quite advocate Cobb getting more throws at the expense of Nelson, Jennings, and Jones, but it’s a good thing for Packer Nation that this guy continues to get more and more playing time. Whether it’s a third down play, a punt return, or a deep throw down the sideline, fans hold their breath when the ball’s heading towards Randall Cobb because they know he’s something special.