Thursday, 24 May 2012
2012 NFL Breakout prospect - Randall Cobb WR
The Green Bay Packers may have failed to retain their Super Bowl crown in early 2012, but they sure do have a lot to smile about, with a number of players on the road to recovery from injury and a number of candidates for huge breakout seasons.
My personal favourite for a monster monster 2012 NFL season is second year wide receiver and return man extraordinaire Randall Cobb.
Cobb, a second round draft pick in 2011, made an immediate impact in his first ever NFL regular season game, scoring on a 32 yard catch and a dazzling 108 yard kickoff return.
The rest of his rookie season wasn't quite as spectacular, but Cobb showed that he could handle the fourth-wideout role along with all of the teams return duties.
Ending his first season with 25 catches is nothing special, but 15 yards a catch proves that Cobb knows how to generate separation on short to mid-range routes. It obviously also helps when your quarterback is Aaron Rodgers.
Cobb has landed in an ideal situation among the Cheeseheads as he trains day-in day-out with some of the finest wideouts in the NFL, from Super Bowl hero Greg Jennings, 2011 breakout stud Jordy Nelson and old-father-time himself Donald Driver.
Driver simply can't have much left in the tank, so Rodgers will be looking for Cobb to step up in 2012 to what I reckon will be around 65 catches and up to 900 yards receiving.
Cobb managed a punt return touchdown and a kick return touchdown as a rookie, and his return averages were both well above the league average. Cobb will expect to maintain his starting return position, but may find that his coaches make him either the kick-return or punt return specialist only in order that he can get on the field with the starting offense a lot more times.
The theory goes that wide receivers truly transform in their third full NFL season, as it is one of those positions that it is very hard to make a true mark as a first or second year player.
Ill go for a steeper progress curve for Cobb to follow and I expect him to be a difference maker as an offensive player and not just a returner.
The Packers will demand an immediate return to an absolute minimum of the NFC Championship game in 2012-13, and Cobb could be the man who will give defensive coordinators nightmares as they try to hold back Nelson, Jennings and tight-end Jermichael Finley.
Call me corny but Cobb can be a jolly green giant in 2012.