It’s been 238 days since Randall Cobb said that he’d forgo his final season of eligibility at the University of Kentucky and put his name into the NFL draft. Now that he’s with the Packers, Kentucky fans can only hope that he provides Aaron Rodgers and company with the same playmaking spark that we were spoiled by for the past three seasons.
Cobb should be fully healed from the knee bruise that he suffered in preseason play and will line up for the Pack as the starting punt and kick returner. Expectations are high for him in Green Bay. Coach Mike McCarthy wants Cobb to emerge as a game changer in the mold of Desmond Howard every time he touches the ball. Those are big shoes to fill, especially considering that Howard has gone down in Packers lore for his role in their 1996 Superbowl winning season. To add to the daunting nature of Cobb’s task, no rookie has led the Packers in punt return average since Brett Favre’s first season with the team.
However, if Cobb can make a name for himself as a reliable game changer in the return game, his time at the slot receiver position should increase as well. The Packers have ample talent ahead of Cobb on the depth chart, but those who have watched him in practice have noted the effortlessness with which he catches the ball and his field vision coupled with seemingly endless bursts of speed, when necessary, make Cobb a potential weapon out of the slot.
To guarantee that Cobb will make a significant impact in the offensive designs of the Green Bay Packers as well as their special teams work would be irresponsibly ambitious. As UK fans who have watched him for the past three seasons though, I think we know that he is destined to emerge as a go-to player on this team eventually. It all starts tonight against the Saints. Turn your TVs to NBC at 8:30, and if the Saints kick off first, get your C-A-T-S chants ready because Randall Cobb could be preparing for his first ever Lambeau Leap.