Randall Cobb is looking for a phone number and a game of catch.
“Right now, I’m trying to get a hold of Aaron Rodgers and I want to get wherever he is as soon as I possibly can and start working and start building a relationship and a bond with him on the field,” Cobb, the Packers’ second-round draft choice, told reporters during a conference call on Friday evening.
Cobb, while certainly a luxury pick for the Super Bowl champions, will fill several key roles. At 5-foot-10 ¾, Cobb is a bit on the short side – especially for the Packers, who had drafted only one sub-6-foot receiver during general manager Ted Thompson’s tenure (5-foot-11 Greg Jennings). But he excelled as a slot receiver at Kentucky and potentially would be the heir apparent in a role that Donald Driver has filled so capably for so long. Plus, with a career average of 24.6 yards on kickoff returns and two touchdowns on punt returns, he’d immediately provide a lift to the Packers’ struggling return units.
“That’s what the coaches want and that’s what the coaches are looking for,” Cobb said of returning kicks.
As a freshman, Cobb started four games at quarterback and four games at receiver, with the coaches locking him into receiver for his sophomore season. He starred as a junior, earning first-team All-American honors for his jack-of-all-trades ability before turning pro. In 2010, he caught 84 passes for 1,017 yards, carried 55 times for 424 yards, returned kickoffs and punts, and scored 13 total touchdowns. With 2,396 all-purpose yards, Cobb set a Southeastern Conference single-season record.
The pick was a surprise to Cobb, who said he met with the Packers at the Scouting Combine but didn’t sense the team showing any strong interest. Packer Report on Thursday, however, mentioned the Packers’ interest in Cobb, as did NFL Scouting’s Dave-Te’ Thomas in a chat with subscribers on Wednesday.
As a receiver, Cobb said his strengths are his versatility and ability to understand coverages. But with just two years at the position because of his tenure at quarterback, he acknowledges that he must polish his route-running. Receivers coach Edgar Bennett mentioned Cobb’s character and versatility.
“His ability to create space (is a strength),” Bennett said. “Certainly has good hands, certainly has the ability to run after the catch. We always talk about YAC. That’s one of his strong suits. He’s a guy that stays on his feet, has tremendous balance and makes the most out of his opportunities.”
The pick capped a long two days for Cobb, who was one of the rookies invited to attend the draft. He was the last player left in the Green Room.
“It was hard. It was really hard,” he said. “It all came to emotionally thinking you may be going somewhere then not going there. But God works in mysterious ways and he puts us in position … and I was fortunate enough to still be on the board when Green Bay was picking.”
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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at email@example.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report’s subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/packerreport and Facebook under Bill Huber.