Reality Check: What Can the Green Bay Packers Expect From Randall Cobb? All Green Bay Packers All the Time
What type of season can we expect from Randall Cobb in 2012?

While Aaron Rodgers, Greg Jennings and Jordy Nelson may be the core of the Green Bay Packers’ offense, Randall Cobb is without a doubt the most exciting player to enter Green Bay in a long time.  In fact, Cobb’s reputation as an elite playmaker was seen during the first game of his career when he returned a kickoff 108 yards for a touchdown midway through the third quarter against the New Orleans Saints.

Even though Cobb only posted 25 receptions for 375 yards and one touchdown, there is still plenty to get excited about heading into the 2012 season for this young player.  The big question is how much of an impact can we truly expect to see from him during his second season.

While it may seem difficult for Cobb to have too huge an impact thanks to the depth of the Packers’ receiving corps, there is simply too much talent oozing from this young player for Green Bay not to figure out how to get him more involved in the offense.

So, just how big of a leap will he make from year one to year two?  Let’s take an in-depth look at what the 2012 season may hold for this talented youngster.


Last year Cobb was only thrown at 31 times which resulted in 25 receptions.  There is little doubt that both those numbers should increase, and here is why.

James Jones and Donald Driver had a combined 108 targets last year.  With Driver’s increasing age and diminishing impact on the game combined with Jones’ inconsistent hands, it isn’t crazy to think that Cobb could begin the season as the No. 3 receiver on the depth chart.  When Jordy Nelson was the No. 3 receiver during the 2010 season, he was thrown at 61 times with 45 receptions.

It is definitely possibly that Cobb could see that many targets this year, but I actually believe he’ll see more.  Teams are going to need to focus on slowing down Greg Jennings, Jordy Nelson and Jermichael Finley, leaving a potential mismatch on every snap for Cobb.

If there is one thing we know about Rodgers as a quarterback it’s that he loves to throw to the open man.  Cobb will certainly be open a bunch this season, making it extremely likely that he surpasses Nelson’s 2010 campaign.

Don’t be surprised to see Cobb have between 50 and 55 receptions this year and somewhere around 70 targets.

Receiving Yards

In 2011, Cobb averaged 15 yards per reception.  If we were to talk his estimated 50-55 receptions and keep his same average from last year that would mean that Cobb should gain between 750 and 825 yards.

However, I actually see Cobb averaging more than 15 yards per reception during the 2012 campaign.  If you look at his 7.7 yards after the catch, or YAC, average from last year, you see just how dynamic of a player he was with the ball in his hands.

He’ll most likely be used on short slants or screen passes where he can put his elite athleticism to work.  However, the Packers will also likely try to get him on the outside where he can beat defenders with his speed.

If Cobb can increase his yards per reception by even just one yard, he’d end up putting up between 800 and 880 yards, which is where I see him finishing the season.


This is a little harder to project because Cobb only had one receiving touchdown in 2011.  Even Nelson only had two receiving touchdowns in 2010 before posting 15 touchdowns last season.

The biggest issue with Cobb is that the Packers already have incredible red zone targets that Rodgers trusts in Jennings, Nelson, Finely and even Kuhn.  That means the majority of Cobb’s touchdowns are going to come off of big plays, which are extremely difficult to predict.

Cobb will certainly get more than one receiving touchdown this year, but don’t be surprising if he ends the year with only three or four.


A breakout year is definitely in store for the second-year player from Kentucky in 2012.  Along with his improved statistics as a receiver, Cobb should also get some special plays at running back and possibly even quarterback.

The sky is literally the limit for Cobb and an offense like Green Bay’s is the perfect place for him to thrive.


  • ScottS

    Amen, Brother

  • Tarynfor12

    “Cobb’s reputation as an elite playmaker was seen during the first game of his career when he returned a kickoff 108 yards for a touchdown midway through the third quarter against the New Orleans Saints”

    He’s electric but far from ‘elite’

    “With Driver’s increasing age and diminishing impact on the game combined with Jones’ inconsistent hands”

    Drivers age/popularity should get him the 4th spot over Cobb and the Jones drops has been disproved against Driver and Finley since Finley fancies himself a WR/TE…Jones wins the hands contest.

    “Don’t be surprised to see Cobb have between 50 and 55 receptions this year and somewhere around 70 targets”

    When and only when Driver is demoted to the 5th spot or doesn’t make the team or the dreaded injury.

    Don’t be surprised to see JJ get showcased more this season.
    Cobb should become the 4th guy behind Jennings,Nelson,JJ….he needs to shut out Driver…and not JJ which is who too many think is his competition.

  • I actually agree with Tarynfor12. James Jones is still getting beat up for drops from the 2010 season. Last year he actually improved, a lot! Last year based on the number of times Jones was thrown to, he ranked high for fewest drops. Like 4th or 6th if I remember correctly. I know, I’ve seen the cart floating around where he leads the NFL in drops for the last 3 years combined but he did improve last year is my point. The problem last year as I saw it was he would vanish for games at a time! He’d have a great game one week then disappear for 3 weeks. I for one love James Jones. Rodgers wanted him and spoke up last year o sign him for a reason. He can take it to the house anytime and last year he showed that. He just needs to shut up with the talk. Cobb will start this year in the slot. I see him catching somewhere around 40 to 45 balls for 700 yards and 4 TD’s. I also think bringing Driver back was a mistake. It may force T.T. to keep 7 receivers on 53 man roster which is crazy. He’s not going to keep either Gurley or Borel on PS this year. These are the problems when you have the most talented wide receiver group / team in the NFL!!

  • James david Marsh

    I do not believe that DD is such a sure thing to make the team. I fully expect that Jennings, Nelson, and Cobb will end up about even in catches at around 80 in the coming year. Jones should come in with around the same as Finley at around 64 catches. The WR’s kept should be Jennings, Nelson, Cobb, Jones, Borel, and Gurley.

    • I hope you’re right Mr. Marsh. As much as I read about T.T. not keeping older players in their decline (like Driver) I have a hard time believing he will make roster as well. As far as your predictions, if they ALL catch that many balls it’s going to be a great year!

      • Steve Cheez

        I believe that DD is a class guy, and he really does care about the good of the team. If he sees in TC that he clearly is not good enough to be the 5th WR (or maybe even the 4th) I would not be at all surprised if he takes the high road and retires, not putting the team in the difficult position of making that call.

  • Brad

    I actually believe the only wr’s assured of a roster spot today are Jennings, Nelson and Cobb. They have already tried to move Jones, and unless he sparkles in camp, he may get flat out cut. There has already been big talk about Gurley making a spot, but now Rodgers has come out and publicly lauded Borel and his work ethic. If the Packers do indeed go to 6 wrs, it could be the two practice squad guys in and Driver and/or Jones out, giving the Packers two college qb’s as wrs. Neither Borel or Gurley are going to be on a practice squad this year.

    • Tarynfor12

      “giving the Packers two college qb’s as wrs”
      Yup,thats the reason why they flat out cut JJ and Driver….LOL

  • Brad

    Yeah, cause somewhere in there I said that’s the reason. Fantastic reading comprehension skills…..LOL

    • Tarynfor12

      “If the Packers do indeed go to 6 wrs, it could be the two practice squad guys in and Driver and/or Jones out, giving the Packers two college qb’s as wrs”.

      Is that better?

      • Brad

        Actually, no. If you read the whole thing it actually says that they (TT) has already tried to trade Jones. The writing is on the wall for him. They (TT) let him go out and test the free agent waters and nobody wanted to pay him then. Nobody wants to give anything of value up for him, so unless he has a tremendous camp (or sparkles as I put it) he’s more than likely gone. TT knows what he has to replace Jones and/or Driver. The question is whether ot not TT elects to carry 6 wr’s or not.

        • Tarynfor12

          There’s a difference between saying ‘we would trade’ and ‘we want to trade’.
          TT has never said to my knowledge “we want to trade JJ”.He would be lacking at his job if he wasn’t listening to offers or getting a feel for a value of not only JJ but others as well.
          Lets put that to rest.

  • Steve Cheez

    I love the way you write an article about Cobb, and all the replies focus on DD and JJ! Gotta love us!

    • Tarynfor12

      Because the play or lack of effects each at this point.

  • Lefty

    Driver is going to have a hard time making this squad. Jennings and Nelson remind me of Dowler and Dale: they’re going to produce. I’m of the opinion that with Jones and Cobb, finley will have to earn his balls.

  • Oppy

    Cobb will be used somewhat sparingly on offense to start the season, will be a regular contributor/role player by mid season.

    By week twelve, the NFL will be buzzing about Cobb’s play. Write it down.

  • Ron LC

    My guess for Cobb is pretty much in line with your prediction Matt. He will take on a variety of roles including some plays at RB. I see him being inserted in areas where he can take advantage of coverage given to GJ and JN.

    Overall, the Packer WR’s operate more as a team than a group of individuals, much to the dismay of “Fantasy Fans”. That means GJ and JN are at the top and everyone else fills in at the bottom. The 6 or so roster spots will be filled by those who best fit that team approach.

    To paraphrase Oppy, “expect Cobb to move up in that pyramid as the season progresses.”

  • I have always loved Driver a ton – but for the good of the team his spot is better used on Gurley or Borel. I’m thinking with my head and not my heart.
    Finley, Jennings, Jordy, Cobb, Jones, and both Gurley and Borel are better bets on the future. Donald, you had a great run.

  • Zeman

    Matt is really a great writer with good thoughtful ideas. I’m not worried about Cobb at all. Let’s get back to bashing Hawk! What a sorry piece he is.

  • waynerd

    I would like to know your predicitions for Cobb in the return game as well. Will he return both punts and kicks? Can Borel share this duty or at least be the back-up? It’s well known Gurley brings kick blocking skills to special teams so if Borel can play on special teams might this give them some advantage over Driver and Jones?

    • I think Cobb can definitely do both. In my opinion, his type of quick movements should be better for punt returns, but he didn’t do so badly with the kickoffs, now did he?