Randall Cobb has been one of the Green Bay Packers’ most talented players since his rookie season. After being drafted back in 2011, Cobb has had a roller coaster career. He may be one of the most talented players on the roster, but he has struggled with consistency for the Packers.
Looking ahead to the 2018 NFL season, the Packers need Cobb to get back to being a star. Jordy Nelson is no longer on the roster after being released this offseason, leaving Cobb and Davante Adams as the top two wide receivers for Aaron Rodgers. If the Packers are going to compete for a Super Bowl this season, Cobb is going to have to be a much bigger part of the offense than he was in 2017.
During the 2017 season for Green Bay, according to ESPN statistics, Cobb ended up catching 66 passes for 653 yards and four touchdowns. He struggled to find chemistry with backup quarterback Brett Hundley. Back in 2016, however, Cobb actually had a worse season with 60 catches for 610 yards and four touchdowns.
Green Bay decided to keep Cobb over Nelson, which says something about their belief in him. At 27 years old, Cobb is more than capable of getting things back on track in 2018.
All of that being said, what should the Packers and the rest of the league expect from Cobb in 2018?
Cobb is going to have a much larger role in the Green Bay offense than he has had in a long time. With Nelson no longer Rodgers’ go-to receiver, Cobb will immediately become the No. 2 target for Rodgers behind Adams. That will allow him to receive more targets than he has seen since before Adams came to town.
Mike McCarthy knows that his offense will need Cobb’s playmaking. If Cobb is unable to provide that big-play ability, the passing game could take a big step back.
How Randall Cobb has graded throughout his career so far pic.twitter.com/Xnc38qtrSz— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) April 19, 2018
Jimmy Graham was signed with most of the money saved by releasing Nelson. Rodgers and Graham have developed a close friendship and the duo should have a very productive season. That being the case, the Packers will still need their veteran wide receivers to step up with the rest of the talent at the position being extremely young.
Predicting Cobb’s season is not an easy task. His consistency issues have become well-known throughout the league, but there is no denying his ability to make big plays and he has had a few very productive years.
While his season could go quite a few different ways, it would be reasonable to expect around 75 receptions for 900 yards and seven touchdowns from Cobb. He isn’t going to put up superstar numbers, but he will be a consistent threat for Rodgers to utilize along with Graham and Adams.
Green Bay has a very good chance to compete for a Super Bowl appearance this season. New general manager Brian Gutekunst made major improvements to the defense, including hiring Mike Pettine as defensive coordinator and drafting both Jaire Alexander and Josh Jackson to beef up the cornerback position.
Expect to see Cobb step up in a big way this coming season. He is not going to be asked to be the No. 1 target for the Packers, but he is going to be asked to make some key plays throughout the year.
That is exactly the kind of role that Cobb needs to be in and it will help him get things back on track in 2018.