GREEN BAY, WI - NOVEMBER 14: Randall Cobb #18 of the Green Bay Packers runs for a touchdown as he is chased by Mistral Raymond #41 of the Minnesota Vikings at Lambeau Field on November 14, 2011 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Scott Boehm/Getty Images)
Randall Cobb is going to have a place on the Green Bay Packers roster and a role in the team no matter what happens during July and August, but he has a lot to gain in training camp and the preseason. He was a bit part player as a rookie in 2011, but with a season's experience and a full camp under his belt heading into 2012, fans are going to expect more from the Packers' speedy slot receiver.
Cobb is still certainly behind Greg Jennings and Jordy Nelson, while Donald Driver and James Jones won't be giving up their places in the team's offensive scheme quietly, but there's no reason that Cobb can't play his way into the No. 3 and primary slot receiver role.
Randall Cobb's stats in 2011: 25 receptions, 375 yards, 1 touchdown - Not bad for a rookie coming up through the ranks of an extremely deep wide receiver corps, though it's slightly disappointing that he didn't have another touchdown after the first game of the season. Cobb was the fifth receiver, though, and the Packers didn't throw as much as the Lions or Saints. These were very solid rookie numbers.
Why I might be full of it - Because the Packers are still outrageously deep at wide receiver. If Donald Driver and James Jones stay healthy and play well, his numbers aren't going to balloon too much. Tori Gurley or Diondre Borel could potentially break into the receiver rotation as well. Everyone's expecting Cobb to get lots of turns as the No. 3 WR, in the slot on 3rd down and short-to-medium downs, but he will need to out-perform other players in camp and preseason to get that role.
Projected stats for Cobb in 2012 - 34 receptions, 550 yards, 4 touchdowns - I'm not altering the projections from my sophomore expectations post. This is the only most improved/likely to regress post where there's crossover with a sophomore expectations post that I wrote. Jermichael Finley is going to put up similar or better numbers if he stays healthy, and James Jones is still going to be effective. I like Cobb to play more and experience a YPC increase, though. We could see some big plays out of him in 2012