When Randall Cobb entered the NFL, he joined a deep group of wide receivers that included Donald Driver and Greg Jennings, both of whom have already departed Green Bay more than a year ago.
James Jones joined them in leaving the Packers this offseason, and Jermichael Finley's future is still up in the air. Suddenly the receiving corps in Green Bay doesn't look so familiar.
"It's so weird just to think how much has changed in my three years here, going into my fourth year," said Cobb. "But that's part of the business. It's a revolving door, and you've got to take on a new challenge every year. And we've got a challenge in bringing in these new guys and getting them up to speed and trying to help them as much as I can and doing all the things I can with them."
Cobb is just 23 years old, but he's a grizzled veteran, relatively speaking. It's now up to him to take the young wide receivers on the roster under his wing.
In the recent NFL Draft, the Packers took not one, not two but three wide receivers: Davante Adams in the second round, Jared Abbrederis is the fifth and Jeff Janis in the seventh.
And that's not to mention the firepower the Packers added at the tight end position when they grabbed Richard Rodgers in the third round and signed the talented but troubled Colt Lyerla as an undrafted free agent.
Each player brings something a little different and unique to the Packers offense, but there was definitely an effort on the personnel department's behalf to keep quarterback Aaron Rodgers well-stocked with a variety of weapons.
There's obviously a lot of attention on Adams for being a high round draft choice and being a guy expected to fill Jones' shoes.
While there's several similarities between Adams and Jones, most notably their size (both 6' 1" and between 208 and 212 lbs.), Adams' ability to high-point the ball stands out as a unique trait.
"I think that his size definitely brings a different characteristic to our room, his build and his ability to catch the ball," said Cobb. "I think he has great natural hands. Seeing him pluck the ball the way he does out of the air is very big for us."
How quickly Adams can get comfortable in the Packers offense and climb up the team's depth chart will be a development worth charting as the season progresses.
Expectations for the two late round draft picks won't be quite as those for Adams, but both Abbrederis and Janis have the raw tools to offer the Packers exciting athleticism.
"I think Jared is going to be really good," said Cobb. "You look at how fast he's been able to pick up on the system so far and just his ability to get in and out of breaks. He's a really quick, shifty guy. I think he's going to transition well for us. I think Jeff, you look at his speed and being able to get deep, takes the top off some coverages, going to be big for us."
Whereas Abbrederis is praised for his route running and ability to offer added value as a return specialist, Janis is a workout warrior, checking in near the top of every category at the NFL Combine among players at his position, whether it's the 40-yard dash, 20-yard shuttle, three-cone drill or bench press.
But the new look the Packers will have at the receiving position in 2014 doesn't begin and end with the rookies. There's a variety of young players looking for expanded roles.
"We lost James Jones, so we need to add some depth there," said Rodgers. "I'm excited about the guys we brought in. I'm also excited about the possibility of some guys coming back.
"Jarrett (Boykin) came off a season where he really improved, Myles (White) did some really nice things, and Chris Harper showed signs as well during practice for us, without making a lot of plays on the field on offense. But there's going to be a lot of competition and I think some strong consideration about keeping an extra guy there as opposed to season's past."
It's typical for the Packers and most NFL teams to carry five wide receivers on their regular-season roster, but as Rodgers alluded to, it wouldn't be surprising to see the Packers carry six this season.
Cobb, Adams, Boykin and Jordy Nelson seem like locks for the roster. Who exactly will fill the other one or two spots is up in the air.
"There's definitely competition there," said Cobb. "I think that's something that I've always been taught, competition breeds success. So of course I'm going to do everything I can to help them. We're going to have a competitive environment, but we're also going to have a team environment and we know us, as a whole, is the most important thing."
Brian Carriveau is the author of the book "It's Just a Game: Big League Drama in Small Town America," and editor of Cheesehead TV's "Pro Football Draft Preview." To contact Brian, email email@example.com.
Photo: Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers by Larry Radloff Photography.
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