Aaron Rodgers might be losing his two favorite targets since taking over as Green Bay Packers starting quarterback in 2008, but the departures of Greg Jennings across the division and Donald Driver for retirement won’t take the aerial attack with them. As long as Rodgers is around and the slew of home-grown options continue developing, there’s little reason to believe this won’t remain on a top-tier pass offense.
“I still like the guys we’ve got,” Rodgers said, via ESPN Wisconsin. “We have a lot of talent at that position. I think Randall Cobb is a guy who could be a 100-plus catch guy every year. James Jones led the league in touchdown receptions last year.
“(And) Jordy (Nelson) has had some real big years for us. … I think the young players we brought in and drafted in free agency will do a lot for themselves if they take the same kind of approach (Jarrett Boykin and Jeremy Ross) did to making this team and bettering themselves,” Rodgers said. “If they do, then we’ll have a really deep receiving corps.”
Cobb immediately emerged as the league’s next great kick return specialist in the 2011 Thursday night opener against the New Orleans Saints and has continued to prove to be an X-factor on special teams, but it might make sense for Ross to take over in that regard if is going to receive Jennings-type level of targets to keep him fresh. Rodgers will continue to spread the rock amongst his many receiving talents — and tight end Jermichael Finley — but Cobb looks to be in prime position to hit the kind of 10-touchdown, 1,200-yard numbers only Jennings has during the Rodgers era.
After 86 catches on 110 targets in 2012 including the playoffs — tallying the most among any Packer after Jennings went down injured early — it’s fair to project these numbers among the league’s highest next season. By comparison, Wes Welker had 64 more regular-season targets.