Randall Cobb’s ascent to the top of the Green Bay Packers’ depth chart last season couldn’t have come at a better time with Greg Jennings and Jordy Nelson each battling injury, and Donald Driver showing his age.
Now, with Jennings in Minnesota and Driver retired, the Packers are fixed to rely on the 22-year-old wide receiver more than ever in an offense still predicated upon the passing game.
A late-season ankle injury cost Cobb his first shot at a 1,000-yard receiving season, but his dynamic makeup still ushered in a league-leading 2,342 all-purpose yardage campaign.
Having lost Jennings and Driver, the Packers added seventh-round picks on Grand Valley State’s Charles Johnson and Maryland’s Kevin Dorsey during the NFL draft, but the nucleus of the offense remains intact with Cobb, Nelson, James Jones and tight end Jermichael Finley for at least one more season.
As the featured active player taking part in this year’s Packers’ Tailgate Tour across the state, Cobb is seeing the attention that comes with being at the forefront of the Packers’ offensive attack.
“I think definitely with Donald retiring and Greg leaving, it’s definitely going to be a lot more weight on me, James and Jordy’s shoulders,” Cobb said. “But we’re taking on the challenge head-on. We’ve been really excited to get back and work. We’ve got some young guys, some drafted guys that’s coming in. We’re excited to get back to work and see how it’s going to turn out this year.”
Throughout the offseason, Packers coach Mike McCarthy has strongly considered the possibility of pulling the 5-foot-10 difference-maker out of his role on kickoff and punt returns.
If needed, Cobb remains open to the idea, but it seems much more likely he’ll be required to fill the spot in the slot Jennings permanently vacated upon signing a five-year deal with the Vikings.
Whatever role awaits come training camp, Cobb is ready with confidence he still can take things to another level.
“I really don’t think I’ve peaked yet,” Cobb said. “I’m 22 years old. I’ve got a lot of learning still to do. I have a long way to go and I just hope I continue to get better over the next years.”