This is perhaps a year too early for Randall Cobb, as he is currently third in the WR pecking order and arguably fourth behind Jermichael Finley. However, at his current cost, and given the situation detailed below the reward more than justifies the risk.
The Packers are a franchise that builds through the draft and re-signs their own, they did that with Greg Jennings when they re-upped with him before 2009. However, that contract is now expiring and the current wide receiver market is showing that Jennings probably will command more than $50 million on the open market. Will the Packers match that offer? If Cobb steps up there’s every reason to believe the Packers will go forward without Jennings and use that cap space elsewhere. There’s only one way the Packers will find that out and that is by getting Cobb on the field more to prove his worth. Jennings’ current concussion problems will help Cobb’s case even more.
How will Cobb get enough opportunities to be a fantasy asset? See, James Jones and Donald Driver. Jones is not the answer and Driver’s on his last legs, between the two of them 75 receptions 1,080 yards and 13 TD’s were accumulated last year. Add that to Cobb’s 25 receptions, 375 receiving yards and three total TD’s and there can be enough balls to go around to make Cobb a very cheap source for WR3 production. I’m not saying Cobb is going to get all of those receptions, the Packers run enough four and five WR sets that Jones and Driver will see the field too. However, if the Packers see him as their future, a large portion of those targets will be funnelled Cobb’s way.
Now, do the Packers see Cobb as the long-term answer at wide receiver? I think they do. He was drafted in the second round and has received nothing but glowing reviews since getting to Green Bay. The Packers are known for not rushing their receivers, choosing to let them develop before deploying them as they have done with Jennings and Jordy Nelson. Given Cobb’s background in college, he also played some QB and RB, there was no reason to rush him last year, especially since the alternatives were adequate and there was no offseason due to the lockout.
Between his versatility as a returner, receiver, runner, and even QB on trick plays there is plenty of love to go around to make Cobb a mainstay in your lineup by midseason. I’m not one to throw out projections, but the guys you’re drafting to be your starting WR’s – one of them will probably get hurt and Cobb will be there to help your team. Go get him, and, yes, dynasty owners, this is your last chance!