Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Have at it: Titus Young or Randall Cobb?
By Kevin Seifert
As it often does, Tuesday's SportsNation chat generated what should be a lively Have at It topic this week. Here is the exchange:
Scott (Northglenn, CO)
Who will have better rookie numbers -- Titus Young or Randall Cobb?
Kevin Seifert (3:00 PM)
Really like that one. ... I might throw that out as a Have at It later this week. First thought would be Young when comparing the depth on both sides, but a lot will depend on how quickly each guy can assimilate the offense given a shorter-than-expected offseason.
Both players were diminutive but dynamic college playmakers who pushed themselves into the second round of last month's draft. After that, however, the comparisons tend to fade. Some factors to consider in this debate:
- As the chart shows, both the Packers and Lions already boast a hefty stable of pass-catchers. But the Packers have more depth at the receiver position, even if James Jones departs via free agency and Donald Driver moves into a more limited role. Cobb has the opportunity for plenty of snaps, but in Detroit, Young could step into a quasi-starter role as the No. 3 receiver behind Calvin Johnson and Nate Burleson.
- Both players have return capabilities, but Cobb is more likely to get that opportunity than Young. The Packers had no set kickoff returner in 2010, and I'm sure they would prefer to get cornerback Tramon Williams out of the punt return job. The Lions, on the other hand, had one of the league's best returners in 2010, Stefan Logan. Special-teams production should play a factor in this debate.
- Cobb played both receiver and running back at Kentucky, and it wouldn't be stunning if he saw some action in the backfield for the Packers. Will it be enough to impact a statistical competition? I'm not sure about that.
- As with any comparison of receivers, the identity and efficiency of the quarterback is critical. It's fair to say that Cobb has an advantage with Aaron Rodgers. The Lions have high hopes for quarterback Matthew Stafford, but a young receiver's development is contingent on consistency from the quarterback. Stafford has yet to prove he can make it through a 16-game NFL season.
I'm sure there are other points to be made as well. Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below. I would also like to try something new and have you participate in a SportsNation poll on the topic as well. I'll publish both a representative sample of your comments and the polls results -- along with my own take, of course -- later this week. Have at It.