Randall Cobb: 2011 Green Bay Packers Evaluation and Report Card

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Randall Cobb
Randall Cobb

1) Introduction: Coming from Kentucky, Randall Cobb was selected by the Green Bay Packers in the second round (No. 64 overall) of the 2011 NFL Draft. He was praised not just for his skills as a wide receiver, but also for his kick return abilities. Throughout his first NFL season, Cobb has clearly shown the potential to be a long-term contributor in both of those roles.

2) Profile:

Randall Cobb

Position: WR
Height: 5-10
Weight: 192 lbs.
AGE: 21

Career Stats: http://www.packers.com/team/roster/Randall-Cobb/73b39eef-a7a8-4155-a341-c5f02b501345


3) Expectations coming into the season: Fans, players, and even coaches must have been excited to have Randall Cobb on the roster this season. The Packers finally had a potential threat at kickoff and punt returns, plus a wide receiver with quarterbacking experience who could play at a high mental and athletic level. Breaking the depth of the wide receiver corps was a foreseen challenge, but being a special teams difference maker was definitely expected.

4) Player’s highlights/low-lights: Randall Cobb won the 2011 AP Play of the Year Award with his record-breaking 108-yard kickoff return for a touchdown against the New Orleans Saints in Week 1. That game will also be remembered for his first (and so far only) NFL career receiving touchdown, which came off an admittedly wrong route. Unfortunately, some of his other blunders weren’t so successful, as he lost 3 special teams fumbles during the season.

5) Player’s contribution to the overall team success: On the offense, Randall Cobb’s contributions were limited. He scored just one touchdown and totaled only 375 yards. Of course, he was fairly sure-handed with 25 of 31 targets caught. Cobb’s biggest impact obviously came on special teams. Though still suffering his share of “rookie mistakes,” he managed to rank 3rd in the league in yards per punt return (13.4), 7th in yards per kickoff return (27.6), and now holds the NFL record for longest kickoff return (108 yards).

6) Player’s contributions in the playoffs: When it came to actually catching the ball, Randall Cobb and Donald Driver seemed to be the only two reliable targets the entire game. Both players caught all three passes thrown their way, with Cobb managing 38 yards and a first down off his receptions. His impact on special teams, however, was forgettable. Only fielding one punt and two kickoffs, he failed to make a significant impact on the game. On the flip side, though, he didn’t do anything to make it worse than what it was.


Season Report Card:

(B) Level of expectations met during the season
(B) Contributions to team’s overall success.
(C+) Contributions to team during the playoffs

Overall Grade for the year: B


Chad Toporski, a Wisconsin native and current Pittsburgh resident, is a writer for AllGreenBayPackers.com. You can follow Chad on twitter at @ChadToporski


  • Mojo

    Before you posted your grade I had around a B- in mind for Cobb so we were pretty close. Love the potential with this guy. I think someone mentioned he was being wasted as the fifth receiver and I agree. He can be our version of Wes Welker or Steve Smith, creating match-up nightmares for opponents. Plus the he has the potential to be a legitimate threat on KO’s and punts. He might end up being TT’s best pick in last years draft.

    • Chad Toporski

      I think for his rookie year, 5th receiver was a good spot. Still learning the offense, plus doing double duty on special teams. Now, next year I will expect him to be more involved…

  • Actually Randall Cobb had 2 TDS in the season opener Packers vs Saints game, and he also had a TD in the Monday night Vikings game from a kick return….so that means Randall had 3 TDS total!:)

    • Chad Toporski

      I probably could have made that more clear. The one touchdown was only as a receiver in the offense, separate from his TDs on special teams as a kick returner.

      • Gotcha and thanks for the correction Chad lol:)

  • Ron LC

    He has big time potential. The tendency to carry the ball away from his body caused a couple of unneccesary fumbles. I say he was slightly above average for the year. A C+ for me.

  • Ruppert

    I’d give him a B. I think he was better than average at everything he did, especially considering he was a rookie.

    I think other people might have had higher expectations for him than I did, especially as our 5th WR. He was clearly much better than Brett Swain and Ruvell Martin had been in that role. He was a 2nd round pick, of course. And I get that, so he SHOULD be better than those two. Expectation met.

    But lots of good college returners come to the NFL and just can’t do it. He basically had a seamless transition to the speed of the NFL’s return games. Did anybody really expect him to be 3rd in the league in punt returns, and finish up the year with 2 return TDs? I didn’t.

    • Chad Toporski

      Definitely agree. Better than an average player on ST and the comparison to Swain and Martin is clear as day. With a year in the system and an offseason to learn even more, I’m pretty pumped for his performance in 2012.

  • Zack

    I’m glad to see that other fans are as excited as I am to see how Cobb does in the upcoming years. In an effort to not repeat myself, feel free to glance at Jenning’s player eval to see my feelings on Cobb. Somehow I got drawn into writing my opinion of Cobb on there instead of under this one, =P

    • Oppy

      For what it’s worth, Zack, I feel like if you want to draw comparisons between Cobb and another NFL player, I think that he’s closer to Reggie Bush than he is Darren Sproles is regards to his play making talents.

      By that, I mean that Cobb possesses the potential to be a threat in nearly all phases of the game- he is a very balanced player and has the chance to be explosive from practically any spot he lines up.

      He has to hone that ability, of course, and it would have to be taken advantage of… Cobb has the ability to catch the ball, work in space, clearly he can return kicks and punts. But in college he also ran the ball out of the backfield (yet to really be attempted at the pro level, probably due to his current size and build), and he also has a good throwing arm.