Quick peek: rising WR Randall Cobb

Randall Cobb shows off his stiff-arm WR Randall Cobb, Kentucky’s lone representative on ESPN’s all-SEC team.

The two elites in this year’s draft class — AJ Green and Julio Jones — are well known. And the second tier of receivers usually consists of — in any particular order depending on the scout and the team — Jonathan Baldwin, Torrey Smith, Leonard Hankerson, and Titus Young. But as more and more game tape is pored over, we’re starting to see some newcomers creeping up into the second-round receiver discussion.

One of the risers is Kentucky WR Randall Cobb, who has already been mocked to the Rams by Todd McShay (perhaps after reading it here on New Era Scouting’s 7-round mock).

holy crap…latest mock draft has Randall Cobb going to the Rams. Fav Cat of all time playing for my fav NFL team.

An example of a player whose profile has been buried by his team’s poor performance, Cobb was one of the few bright spots on a 6-7 Kentucky team. Cobb brings a skillset wholly different from any of the other receivers in these upper rounds — think of a poor man’s Percy Harvin in powder blue who can run the ball from a shotgun set, play QB, or just go downfield and make secondaries look foolish after the catch. (Check out the catch and run through traffic starting at 0:50 of this reel.)

Video: Cobb’s 2010 highlight reel

An excerpt from Cobb’s scouting report from Sideline Scouting:

    Pros: … Great runner after the catch, elusive in the open field… Very productive player, has rushed for over 1300 yards and 22 touchdowns along with his receiving statistics… Has scored 37 touchdowns over the past three years… Strong intangibles, very hard worker who is respected by both teammates and fans…

    Cons: Seems to be more quick than fast… Inconsistent hands, drops some passes that he should be able to catch… Below average route runner, has trouble getting separation in man coverage…

Like Percy Harvin, Cobb’s career receiving numbers don’t tell the whole story. It isn’t until you look at total production and each player’s knack for finding the end zone from multiple looks that you start salivating.

Receiving Yards

Percy Harvin (UF, 2006-08): 133 rec, 1939 yds, 13 TDs
Randall Cobb (UK, 2008-10): 144 rec, 1661 yds, 13 TDs

Total yards

Percy Harvin (UF, 2006-08): 3780 yds, 32 TDs
Randall Cobb (UK, 2008-10): 2974 yds, 37 TDs

Cobb’s stats include two return TDs, adding to his multi-threat capabilities. All this makes him sound eerily like a player already on the Rams’ roster — Mardy Gilyard, who had a nightmarish rookie season and may already be considered a lost cause by some fans and pundits alike. If the Rams were to draft a player like Cobb with a top-fifty pick, you would have to think that Gilyard’s job security would be even slimmer than his own slender frame.