Donald Driver retired as the Green Bay Packers‘ all-time leader in both receptions and yards. His gritty, catch-the-ball-at-any-spot-on-the-field-and-yards-after-the-catch made him a force to be reckoned with year-after-year.
A player that would be difficult to replace, right?
Lucky for the Packers they have the next Donald Driver on their roster. At least they have him on the roster for another year. Randall Cobb appears to have come from the same mold as the great Donald Driver.
Both Driver and Cobb are of the smaller frames but pack an abundance of toughness. In a league that has an abundance of “finesse” players, both Driver and Cobb show no fear in catching the ball at any point on the field of play. Over the middle, on the sidelines or deep down the seam, these two have shown zero fear in hauling the ball in at any point on the field.
The similarities do not end there. During their collegiate careers both Driver and Cobb were track superstars. Cobb finished third in the state of Tennessee in the 100-meter his senior year. Cobb was also a four-time state champion at Alcoa High School as the team’s quarterback. The Tornadoes quarterback was also an all-district basketball player even though he was crowned as Mr. Football.
The scrappy Cobb went on to play college ball at the University of Kentucky. Cobb who entered UK as a quarterback went on to post a long stat sheet. The SEC record-holder for single-season all-purpose yards with 2,396 yards put up some impressive numbers.
During his time at Kentucky the 2010 first-team AP, ESPN and Sports Illustrated All-American put up some huge numbers.
At Kentucky, Cobb threw for 689 yards and 5 touchdowns while rushing for 1,313 yards and another 22 touchdowns. His senior year alone saw him catch 84 balls for 1,017 yards and 17 touchdowns.
In 2011, Ted Thompson and the Green Bay Packers selected Randall Cobb in the second round with the 64th overall pick of the NFL Draft. Cobb quickly proved that was a very wise draft pick for the green and gold.
Cobb took home honors for the NFL Play of the Year with his 108-yard kickoff return against the New Orleans Saints. It was good for a tie for the second longest kickoff return in NFL history. During his second stint with the Packers Randall Cobb was the leader in all-purpose yards in the NFL for the 2012 season.
Randall Cobb only played 6 regular season games for the Packers in 2013. For a player who only played 6 games in the regular season he made a play that will be in the hearts and minds of Packers’ fans years to come.
On a 4th and 8 with under a minute to go and trailing the Chicago Bears, with the NFC North Division on-the-line Cobb caught a 48-yard touchdown pass from Aaron Rodgers that ultimately sealed the team’s third straight NFC North Division championship.
During three years with the Packers, Cobb has accumulated 136 receptions for 1,762 yards and 13 touchdowns. This while only playing six regular season games in 2013.
Donald Driver was six feet of muscle who caught 743 balls for 10,137 yards while a member of the Green Bay Packers. If Ted Thompson and the Packers are wise, Cobb could be close to or exceed those career numbers.
If there is one thing that rubs me wrong about Ted Thompson it is the fact I get the feeling he believes he can replace anybody. The 2014-15 season brings a hurdle Thompson has yet to see. Wide receivers number one and two are due to become free agents.
The time has come for Thompson to sit back in his rocking chair and reflect on how well he has done and lock up both Nelson and Cobb long-term.
Nelson is the big, physical deep-ball receiver who can go up and steal one off the shoulder pads of the defender. Cobb is the jelly to the peanut butter of Nelson. He will catch the ball on any part of the field and is capable of taking it to the house at the same time.
Cobb is the Driver-to-Favre and Welker-to-Brady that powered the percentage completions and made both teams a staple in their time. With the greatest and most accurate quarterback in the game why would you entertain thoughts of taking that away from Aaron Rodgers?
Nelson and Cobb complement one another like Sheldon and Leonard (in “The Big Bang Theory”).
I’m not sure what Ted Thompson is waiting on when it comes to locking up either player long-term. In order to cement the next decade for the Packers and pursue a dynasty, both Cobb and Nelson must be signed.
The following tweets and the potential numbers Randall Cobb could put up this season have me a bit worried.
I been grinding like it’s ’07 and no offers… #Chip
— Randall Cobb (@rcobb18) July 7, 2014
(No Scholarship Offer) — Randall Cobb (@rcobb18) July 7, 2014