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Washington Redskins UDFA profile - Simmie Cobbs Jr., WR, Indiana

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After puttting up 1,876 yards and 12 touchdowns in his last two seasons on the field, does Simmie Cobbs have what it takes to make it in the NFL?

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NCAA Football: Indiana at Maryland Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

“[T]he first thing that obviously stands out about him is his size,” Jake Thomer, the Indiana football reporter for the Indiana Daily Student told me. “At times last season, it just felt like all one of IU’s quarterbacks had to do was throw the ball in Cobbs’ general vicinity and he would come down with it, especially in the red zone. He rarely found a defensive back that could match his size or physical strength, and at times [he] even cooked NFL-caliber cornerbacks like those on Ohio State. His hands, though inconsistent at times, also showed flashes of brilliance.

Baltimore Beatdown, SB Nation

Cobbs’ size and body control down the field will be enticing to teams, but he doesn’t separate and he lacks general quickness. Cobbs toggles between bad drops and great catches and needs to find more stability as a pass catcher since he’ll have to make a living handling contested catch situations. Cobbs may need scheme help to get off the line against big, press corners and looks unlikely to become a heavily targeted receiver as a pro.

Lance Zierlein, NFL.com

The Player

Simmie Cobbs is a wide receiver from Indiana. He is 6’3”, 220 pounds, and he ran a 4.64 40-yard dash at the Combine.

NFL.com gave him a grade of 5.3, which they define as NFL backup or special teams potential. That sounds about right for an undrafted free agent, but he actually has a shot at making the Redskin roster, which isn’t especially deep at wide receiver in 2018.

Indiana v Wake Forest Photo by Lance King/Getty Images

The opportunity

Right now, the Redskins receiving depth chart looks about like this:

Veterans

  • Josh Doctson
  • Paul Richardson
  • Jamison Crowder
  • Brian Quick
  • Maurice Harris
  • Robert Davis

Draft pick

  • Trey Quinn (7th round)

UDFAs

The Redskins receiving corps is more promise and potential than actual production, and it offers an opportunity for Simmie Cobbs to find a home on an NFL roster. In fact, according to Cobbs, he was called by two teams after the draft — the Seahawks and the Redskins — and it was the greater opportunity to make the Washington roster that was the deciding factor. He told his agent that he would sign with Washington.

“I went up to my room and sat there and waited for a (draft) call, and it just brought me to tears, but then I finally got a (free agent) call,” Cobbs said. “It was pain, joy and frustration all mixed into one. It was very overwhelming, but my family kept me up and I realized what I had. From there, it was just positive.”

Cobbs said he received calls from Washington and Seattle after the draft ended. He said he briefly discussed his options with his agent, Ben Renzin, but he ultimately made the decision on his own.

“I just looked up their rosters, seeing the depth of each team and thought the Washington Redskins were the best team for me,” he said. “I just felt Washington overall, their roster had a good amount of players, but I didn’t feel the wide receiver corps was stacked like Seattle’s was.

The numbers

Here’s a look at Cobbs’ college production:

Cobbs’ college career

He originally committed to Purdue, but found out via a letter that the Boilermakers wanted him to play safety, not wide receiver, so he adjusted his plans and became a Hoosier instead of a Boilermaker.

After limited action in his freshman season, Cobbs broke out as a sophomore in 2015, putting up over 1,000 receiving yards and 4 touchdowns. Cobbs’ sophomore campaign was a spectacular one, which led to extremely high praise entering his third season at Indiana.

But Cobbs suffered a season-ending ankle injury on the first play of the 2016 season, and lost a year of his college career.

In 2017, he certainly bounced back and caught NFL scouts’ attention. Although he didn’t match his sophomore breakout, in his comeback season he caught 72 passes for 841 yards and eight touchdowns as a redshirt junior at Indiana. Cobbs was a two-time Indiana offensive player of the week and finished in the top-10 of the Big Ten in receptions (2nd), receptions per game (2nd), yardage (4th), yards per game (4th) and touchdowns (6th), and was named First-Team All-Big Ten.

Indiana v Purdue Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Oh, by the way

One asterisk on Cobbs record is that on July 16 he was arrested and charged with ‘refusal to identify,’ and resisting law enforcement.

In November, Cobbs Jr. pled guilty to public intoxication, and charges of resisting law enforcement and disorderly conduct were dropped. He did not serve time in jail, but was sentenced to probation for 170 days.

According to a press release, Cobbs Jr. was brought to the Klipsch Music Center Security Office due to not complying with personnel attempting to clear aisles.

According to a police, once at the security office, Cobbs refused to cooperate when asked to take a portable breath test for alcohol.

He was suspended for the Hoosiers season opener at Florida International along with 5 other Hoosier players for “not living up to their responsibilities to the program.”

As red flags go, this one sounds pretty modest — a college student got intoxicated and surly on a Saturday night in mid-summer. I’ve done worse.

Draft disappointment

Simmie Cobbs declared for the NFL Draft on Dec. 21, and was disappointed when he wasn’t selected as one of the 33 receivers drafted into the league this weekend.

Cobbs said he plans on embracing his difficult path to making Washington’s roster this fall. He repeatedly noted that his athletic career was full of hardships.

“I was told I wouldn’t be able to play receiver (at Purdue), I should play defensive back,” Cobbs recalled of his bumpy college recruitment. “Then, if I left, I was told I wouldn’t be able to play wide receiver anywhere else.

“This experience takes me back to that and makes me mad because no matter what I do … it’s always in the back of my mind that I went undrafted and was a free agent. I’m hungry, mad and ready to go compete and meet the guys in Washington.”

A bumpy road

Cobbs’ road to the NFL was anything but smooth. He has been estranged from his mother since a very young age, and his father died when Cobbs was only 9 years old. He also lost his grandmother during his junior season at Indiana, and he was arrested at a Jason Aldean concert last summer.

The film study

So, what are the Redskins getting in Simmie Cobb?

Matthew Cohen, of SB Nation’s Baltimore Beatdown, did a film study of Cobbs in March.

Where Cobbs lacks most right now is probably in his speed and separation ability. He ran a 4.64 40-yard dash at the NFL combine, which is not that good of a time for a wide receiver (the top 15 receivers at the 40-yard dash this year all ran a 4.50 or better). At the end of the day, his red zone prowess is unquestioned and will likely be the biggest reason why a team falls in love with him, but he’ll have to show that he can find space against NFL cornerbacks outside of the final 20 yards of the field.”

It wouldn’t have been a catch in the NFL, as Cobbs only got one foot down, but this incredible effort from Cobbs really kickstarted Indiana’s offense which stayed with Ohio State for the first half of this game. Indiana quarterback Richard Lagow launches a deep ball down the sideline towards Cobbs, who is being covered by Kendall Sheffield. Cobbs does have a size advantage over Sheffield, and he certainly takes advantage of it. The Hoosiers’ receiver is able to adjust to the throw that is trailing towards the sideline, and makes an incredible one handed catch with Sheffield draped all over him. On this play, Cobbs is able showcase his ability to win a 50-50 ball and his knowledge of how to use his size.

The above video has two plays in it. The catch on the first play is a fairly routine one, though what’s impressive about this effort is Cobbs after the catch. Cobbs is able to break free from Sheffield, who’s only grip on Cobbs is his jersey. If not for two Ohio State defenders coming over to make the tackle, Cobbs’ strength would have won out, and he would have fully broken the tackle of Sheffield, and likely scored a touchdown.

The second play is another example of Cobbs being able to adjust to the ball. Cobbs has to turn around in order to make a play on the ball, which doesn’t have as much air under it as the throw in the first video. Again, with Sheffield covering him, Cobbs is able to make an incredible one handed catch, and hold onto it despite being hit by Sheffield.

Though Sheffield wasn’t the only Buckeyes corner Cobbs got the best of in this game. Inside of the 10 yard line, Cobbs was matched up against projected top 10 pick, Denzel Ward. Again, Cobbs knows he has a size advantage, and he knows how to take advantage of it. Cobbs basically posts up Ward, leaps over him, and makes the contested catch, scoring a touchdown for Indiana. On this play, Cobbs again shows his strength, his 50-50 ball ability, and his adjustment ability.

The Holy Grail for Jay Gruden — a receiver that can catch a fade to the corner of the end zone for a touchdown! Maybe with Alex Smith behind center Jay will be able to finally put 6 points on the board with a pass that goes over the DB’s head and into the receiver’s hands for a score. After 4 years of trying, Jay deserves to see it happen. This highlight alone was probably enough to get Simmie Cobbs a contract -- the latest in a long line of receivers with the size to threaten defenses as a red zone threat.

The bottom line

Let’s hear the ‘final word’ on Simmie Cobbs from Matthew Cohen:

[W]hile Cobbs’ size and physicality are impressive, he does come with some flaws.... According to his draft profile on NFL.com, Cobbs has a drop rate of 11.4 percent. Two plays before his touchdown catch against Denzel Ward, Cobbs had an easy touchdown catch go through his hands. His film shows either incredible catches or frustrating drops. [O]ften times, as Lance Zierlein also noted in his draft profile, Cobbs got lazy with his technique. If Cobbs can remain focused on the ball more, he’ll make more plays like the ones seen in the above footage.

In addition, Cobbs certainly isn’t the fastest wide receiver. At the Combine, Cobbs posted a 40 time of 4.64 seconds. He isn’t able to separate from corners, and thus is often put into contested catch situations. Fortunately, he can win those balls, but that won’t happen every time.

Some of Simmie’s Twitter

Poll

As UDFAs go, rate Simmie Cobbs

This poll is closed

  • 27%
    A
    (168 votes)
  • 48%
    B
    (297 votes)
  • 21%
    C
    (133 votes)
  • 1%
    D
    (11 votes)
  • 0%
    F
    (0 votes)
609 votes total Vote Now

Poll

How good are the chances that Simmie Cobbs Jr. is on the Redskins roster in 2018?

This poll is closed

  • 10%
    Pretty strong
    (63 votes)
  • 27%
    Above average
    (171 votes)
  • 40%
    50/50
    (258 votes)
  • 21%
    Unlikely
    (138 votes)
630 votes total Vote Now