2011 Packers Yearbook: Green Bay Packer Player Most Likely to Have a Breakout Season in 2012:
(Be sure to place your vote in the poll below.)
Adam: Bryan Bulaga. We usually think of a skill player when talking about breakout seasons. That’s not fair to the offensive lineman. Look for Bulaga to take the next step in 2012.
Al: Matt Flynn is probably the correct answer, but there’s this little issue of him leaving the Packers. If not coming off an ACL, I might have gone for a longshot pick like Alex Green here. Randall Cobb is the obvious choice, so I’ll pass on him. Who’s left? Am I crazy enough to give such a vote of confidence to Mike Neal? Nope. Jermichael Finley? Maybe. That leaves me with but one sure option: Desmond Bishop. Yes, he was a full-time starter last season and had a good year, but we’re talking breakout here. 100+ solo tackles, 6-8 sacks, 4 forced fumbles, 2 INTs and a Pro Bowl berth.
Chad: As much as we all like to buck the trend with our picks, I don’t think there’s anyone who has a better chance of a breakout season than Randall Cobb. He should be able to secure more snaps next year, and considering that he was one of the most efficient receivers this year, that should be a great thing. Cobb will likely improve his ball security in the return game, as well.
Kris: Randall Cobb. Just when you thought the Packers had enough weapons on offense. The threesome of Jennings, Nelson and Cobb (regardless of where Driver ends up) will be lethal. It would open things up for Finley should he be cured of his case of the dropsies. Throw in Cobb’s potential in the return game and you will need one big washcloth to wipe up the drool from Packer Nation.
Michael: Morgan Burnett. While Burnett was a bright spot on a defense that had so few, I expect him to take even more steps forward in his young career and become a league-wide force. If Burnett has the added benefit of playing alongside Nick Collins, the duo could become one of the leagues best in an improved Packers secondary.
Thomas: Randall Cobb. Regardless of what the Packers decide to do with Donald Driver, I’m pretty sure Randall Cobb is already ahead on the depth chart. Cobb definitely had some beginners luck early in the season and quieted down later in the season, so my feeling was that he wasn’t quite ready to be a big contributor in the offense. After a season of experience plus a real off-season to work with the coaches, Cobb finally gets the offense down and blows by both Driver and Jones and becomes the 3rd/slot wide receiver after Greg Jennings and Jordy Nelson.
Zach: Cobb is a great pick for obvious reasons. But I’m going to go with a wildcard in tight end D.J. Williams. Andrew Quarless may not make it back in time to find a spot on the 53-man roster, and Tom Crabtree is limited as a receiver. To have an impact as the Packers’ No. 2 tight end, Williams needs to become stronger physically and more comfortable with the ins-and-out of the playbook. With a good offseason. the guy we saw open eyes in shorts and helmets last summer could re-emerge.
Jersey Al Bracco is the founder and editor of AllGreenBayPackers.com, and the co-founder of Packers Talk Radio Network. He can be heard as one of the Co-Hosts on Cheesehead Radio and is the Green Bay Packers Draft Analyst for Drafttek.com.