The Packer’s 2019 offseason has been one of the more memorable in the last few years. General Manager Gutekunst wasted no time making splashes in his first full offseason by signing four starters in the first two days of free agency. This has been uncharacteristic of the Packers under their former regime, but it is a new era in Green Bay, and Gutekunst is not afraid to shake things up. In addition to the big signings, the Packers also showed they were ready for change when they chose to let locker room leader Randall Cobb leave in free agency.
Fans were sad to see Cobb leave, but with his rapid decline in the past four seasons and injury history, it was a decision that needed to be made. Cobb was a key player in the Packers lethal offense and was vocal off of the field, but did he do enough to earn him a spot in the Packer’s Hall of Fame? I took a deeper look at his stats and compared them to players who have earned their spot in the Packers’ Hall of Fame, including some who fell short.
Cobb came into the NFL as a second-round draft pick in 2011. He came to a team fresh off of a Super Bowl victory with one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL in Aaron Rodgers. In Cobb’s first NFL game, he showed his big-play ability by returning a kick 108 yards for one of his two touchdowns that game. He came into an offense who already had established receivers in Donald Driver, Greg Jennings, and Jordy Nelson, but showed he can contribute even in a limited role. The following year Cobb took advantage of an aging Donald Driver and the departure of Greg Jennings to earn a starting spot on the team. In his second NFL season, he led the team in receiving with 954 yards, and recorded 8 touchdowns. He solidified himself as a key player on a Super Bowl contending team. Cobb’s best season with the Packers came in 2014 when he had a career-high in both receiving yard (1,287) and touchdowns (12). The following seasons plagued with injuries to Cobb himself, and star quarterback Aaron Rodgers contributed to his decline in yards and touchdowns in each of season following 2014.
Cobb has earned some respectable numbers during his time with the Packers, but how do they compare to players who have made the Packer’s Hall of Fame?
The Packer’s have inducted six receivers into their Hall of Fame so far, and each of them dominated opponents during their time with the team. Cobb earned over 1,000 yards in one season for the Packers which is no easy task, but five out of the six players in the Packers’ HoF have earned over 1,000 yards at least twice in their career.
Looking closer at total touchdowns, Cobb (41) would rank 5th, only beating out receiver, tight end, and flex Carroll Dale (35), and Robert Brooks (32). Cobb put up impressive numbers during his campaign with the Packers, but compared to current Hall of Fame inductees, it doesn’t quite compare.
Comparing Cobb’s stats with key Packer receivers over the last 10 years. I specifically compared Cobb to James Jones and Greg Jennings. During Jennings’, Jones’, and Cobbs’ tenure with the Packers, they hauled in 53, 45, and 41 touchdowns respectively. When we take a look at receiving yards, Jennings again leads the pack with 6,537 yards. He is followed by Cobb with 5,524 yards, which leaves Jones with a close 5,195 yards. One area that Cobb leads the group is in receptions. He brought in 470 passes compared to Jennings’ 425 and Jones’ 360.
In addition to Cobb’s strong play on the field, he earned the respect of every player who walked into the locker room. Upon his departure from the team, he was showered with praise from current and former players. Twitter superstar Tom Crabtree, went to Twitter to say, “I’ll be rooting for Cobb in Dallas! Great teammate, hard worker, playmaker and a guy you can always count on.” Crabtree wasn’t the only player to sing Cobb’s praise; Rodgers also posted pictures of Cobb and Rodgers captioned with a quote from Shawshank Redemption. Cobb did not come into the league as the fastest player or biggest player, but his hard work and dedication drew players in. He truly was a role model on and off the field.
Was Cobb a dangerous playmaker? Absolutely. Was was the definition of a talented role player. Was Cobb a leader in the locker room? Without a doubt. Did Cobb do enough to earn his spot in the Packer’s Hall of Fame? I do not believe so. Cobb was the definition of a talented role player. He was consistent, worked hard, and always did his job, but he was never the star of the team. Comparing his numbers to current Hall of Famers and other hopefuls show he just didn’t do enough on the field. The only case where I see Cobb entering the Hall of Fame is due to the combination of his work on the field, leadership in the locker room, and strong fanbase he has in Wisconsin.
Whether or not Randall Cobb earned a spot in the Packer’s Hall of Fame does not affect how much Packer fans will miss him seeing him in the Green and Gold.