Packers: Three questions facing Randall Cobb in 2018

SEATTLE, WA - JANUARY 18: Randall Cobb
SEATTLE, WA - JANUARY 18: Randall Cobb /
2 of 3
(Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
(Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images) /

2. Can he return to elite production?

Cobb’s production has significantly tailed off since 2014. So what’s the reason? And, can he return to being one of the league’s top weapons?

In 2015, Jordy Nelson’s torn ACL derailed the entire offense and forced Cobb to become the number one receiver, a role he’s ill-suited for. Hamstring and ankle injuries hampered him in 2016, and Aaron Rodgers’ injury obviously affected last season.

More from Lombardi Ave

Cobb’s age and injuries have undoubtedly robbed him of a bit of his explosion. And he never had a large catch radius to begin with, which has made it difficult for him to be an impactful downfield target.

It should still be possible, though, for Cobb to once again threaten 1,000 yards in 2018.

With Nelson gone, Cobb is now by far the pass-catcher with the most experience playing with Rodgers. That should pay dividends in the red zone and on third down, both areas where Rodgers loves extending plays.

Cobb should also have an increased opportunity to make plays after the catch this season. Nelson bafflingly received many of the short, immediate passes last season that should have gone Cobb’s way.

Finally, though Nelson is gone, Jimmy Graham could be among the best pass-catching tight ends the Packers’ offense has ever had. He’ll work extensively in the slot and down the seam, which should prevent defenses from keying on Cobb in that area of the field.

Ultimately, it will come down to Cobb’s health and the decisions that Rodgers makes. He won’t put up just shy of 1,300 yards with over 14 yards per catch again. But if things break his way, there’s no reason he can’t return to being one of the league’s best slot receivers.