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Cheese Curds, 5/31: Randall Cobb reminds rookie WRs that the NFL is a grind

It took Cobb a few years to carve out a role as an impact player, and he’s helping the Packers’ young wideouts remember that it might not all be smooth sailing early in their NFL careers.

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Los Angeles Rams v Green Bay Packers Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

It feels like just yesterday that Randall Cobb came to Green Bay as a wide-eyed 20-year-old. The Green Bay Packers drafted him at that age in 2011, and he would turn 21 in Green Bay during his first professional training camp.

Cobb of course made a massive impact on special teams as a rookie, but like most rookie wide receivers for the Packers, he was used relatively sparingly. Cobb caught 25 passes for 375 yards in his first NFL season — respectable numbers, to be sure, but hardly indicative of him being a breakout player. His yards ranked sixth on the team and his catches put him seventh as he was just one member of the Packers’ ridiculous receiving corps that season.

Now, 11 years later, Cobb is in a very different position, playing more of the role that Donald Driver played in 2011. Driver was 36 while Cobb is still just 31, but both served as the grizzled veteran in the wide receiver room, helping to mentor the younger players at the position.

Cobb’s challenge this year is likely tougher than Driver’s was, however. In 2011, the Packers were coming off a Super Bowl title, and the top four receivers (Driver, Jordy Nelson, Greg Jennings, and James Jones) were all firmly established as key contributors at the very least. In 2022, the Packers have Cobb and Allen Lazard returning with veteran Sammy Watkins arriving via free agency. Every other wideout on the roster is either a rookie or has minimal experience, making Cobb’s job that much tougher.

Perhaps that role as a mentor is one of the primary reasons why the Packers kept him around for this season with a pay cut instead of releasing him for salary cap purposes. If any of the team’s three draft picks or other receivers end up being dynamic players in 2022, however, you can surely credit Cobb at least in part for that development.

Here are today’s curds with OTAs resuming from Green Bay today.

Packers WR Randall Cobb is savoring every moment |
The Packers' elder statesman at wide receiver spoke during last week's OTAs, discussing how he sets an example for the team's young wideouts with his work ethic. Still, he's also making sure to keep the rookies grounded and remind them that it takes time to develop into a playmaker.

The Packers’ Christian Watson’s rise from ‘geeky’ teen to Aaron Rodgers’ potential top target - The Athletic ($)
Development is a word that suits Watson just fine, of course. He didn't have a single FBS scholarship offer coming out of high school, in part due to a late growth spurt before his senior year. Now he's the 34th overall pick after a highlight-filled career for the Bison.

Packers Favored in 15 of 17 Games in 2022 NFL Season - Sports Illustrated
The road games at Tampa Bay in week 3 and at Buffalo in week 8 are the only games in which the Packers are underdogs for the time being.

Bears QB Justin Fields has 'plenty of confidence' in WR corps to 'get the job done' |
Don't mind me, I'm just over here writing "poor decision-making" in my scouting report on Fields.

Arizona Cardinals CB Jeff Gladney dies in car accident at age 25 | ESPN
The Cardinals cornerback was one of two fatalities in the accident near Dallas. APC's sympathies go out to his family and that of the other individual who was killed.

Packers report 85% of tickets sold for Bayern-Man City match at Lambeau Field |
That’s great news for the Packers, who are looking to recoup some of the income lost by missing out on one home game. It’s also good news for any fans who want to go to that game but haven’t bought tickets yet, because it means that there are still some seats available at retail price.

Malaysia Airlines will operate its first flight powered by used cooking oil to Singapore this Sunday - SoyaCincau
This is a really cool idea. We'll just need to hope that the cabin doesn't smell like old french fries.