What are the Packers getting in WR Randall Cobb and OT Dennis Kelly?

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The Green Bay Packers made two veteran additions over the last 24 hours, trading a sixth-round pick for receiver Randall Cobb and signing free agent offensive tackle Dennis Kelly.

Here’s what the Packers are getting in the two new players:

Veterans at key positions for Aaron Rodgers

(AP Photo/Mark Tenally)

Trading for Cobb was a move facilitated fully by Aaron Rodgers. Signing Kelly might be unrelated to getting Rodgers back in Green Bay, but both players serve a similar purpose: adding an experienced, capable player at two positions that directly affect the way Rodgers does his job. The MVP has a great deal of trust in Cobb, who should provide a high-efficiency target from the slot, and few factors are more important to playing quarterback than pass protection on the edges, which Kelly could help provide. In the passing game, the Matt LaFleur scheme should create easy completions between Rodgers and Cobb, and the veteran could be an asset on broken plays. Also, the Packers had terrific pass protection all of last season, allowing just 20 sacks of Rodgers, and Kelly played over 1,000 snaps in Tennessee without giving up a sack, per Pro Football Focus. These are both moves capable of making Rodgers' life easier.

Capable depth

Tennessee Titans offensive lineman Dennis Kelly (71) lines up for the snap during an NFL football game against the Houston Texans, Sunday, Jan. 3, 2021, in Houston. (AP Photo/Matt Patterson)

At the very least, Cobb and Kelly will arrive as capable depth players for one of the league's best offenses. Getting Cobb provides a true slot who can play right away and help groom Amari Rodgers, a rookie. Kelly is an ideal swing tackle, with vast experience at right tackle and the ability to play on the left side and guard. The Packers are now at least four-deep in receivers that have chemistry and experience with Rodgers, who might be playing his last season in Green Bay and needs to win big now. Cobb could be a complementary player and still be effective in the right role. And Kelly adds valuable insurance at a premium position, much like Rick Wagner a year ago. Even if Cobb and Kelly aren't full-time players in 2021, they could be important for Rodgers and the Packers.

Possible starters

Houston Texans wide receiver Randall Cobb (18) makes a touchdown catch defended by Tennessee Titans cornerback Kristian Fulton (26) during the third quarter at Nissan Stadium Sunday, Oct. 18, 2020 in Nashville, Tenn.

There's a decent chance both Cobb and Kelly will be starters at some point in 2021. If Amari Rodgers isn't ready to play right away, Cobb could be the primary slot receiver in three-receiver sets. While often injured during the end of his first stint in Green Bay, Cobb was effective and far more dynamic over the last two seasons in Texas. He caught 71 percent of his targets and averaged 9.7 yards per target over 25 games between 2019-20. Don't rule out him playing starter-level snaps, especially because Rodgers will want him on the field as much as possible during this run. Kelly has a terrific opportunity to be a starter, especially early in the season if David Bakhtiari isn't ready to play. Even when Bakhtiari returns, the Packers might see Kelly as the team's best option at right tackle. He was an effective 16-game starter for the Titans last season, and he knows the scheme. Remember, Rick Wagner played over 600 snaps for the Packers in 2020 despite not beginning the season as a starter.

Locker room benefit

Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

Cobb, now entering his 11th season, was a highly-respected member of the Packers locker room for eight years before departing in 2019. His return could be beneficial for so many, especially the young players in the receiver room. At the very least, he'll be good for Aaron Rodgers and a mentor-style presence for third-round pick Amari Rodgers. Cobb does things the right way, practices hard and sets a great example. Coach Matt LaFleur was also complimentary of Kelly, who he coached in Tennessee for a year. "Dennis, first of all, what a great person. He’s going to bring so much to our locker room," LaFleur said Thursday. Kelly made a splash during his first practice when he pranked onlookers by wearing David Bakhtiari's uniform. These two veterans are going to fit in right away.

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