The Titans selected Minnesota running back David Cobb at 138th overall in the 2015 NFL Draft. That means a whole lot for the Titans and their fans. At 5-11" 229 pounds, Cobb is a bruising runner who can take a heavy workload and be a reliable 3-down player. He was available a lot later than expected due to an injury that slowed him at the NFL combine. As you can see, he doesn't look slow on film.
In the play above, Cobb shows his strength, balance, and burst. He is a pure inside runner who won't be brought down by arm tackles. And he displays the vision to find holes, including the anticipation of those holes opening up. This shows in his college production, despite playing on a less-than-stellar offense. In fact, he is so physical that 54% of his yards last season came after initial contact, and he averaged five yards per carry for his college career.
Cobb's selection all but ensures the end of Shonn Green's Titans tenure. He figures to bring the between-the-tackles ability that Tennessee needs this season. It's plays like this that show that he is faster than his combine time, and has the agility to make opponents miss in the open field. He's much more than just a short yardage runner.
Here Cobb again shows his one-cut skill to make the unblocked defender miss in the hole, and get north in a hurry. As a fifth rounder, Cobb was a true draft steal for Ruston Webster and Ken Whisenhunt. Aside from his obvious running ability, Cobb can pass protect can be developed to catch passes out of the backfield. Cobb's versatility also helps the Titans avoid an issue that they faced last season; tipping their hand with their personnel selection.
In the 2014 season, Leon Washington and Shonn Greene were fairly one dimensional players, and allowed defenses to key in on the Titans play calling. Having Sankey or Cobb on the field doesn't do that. With a rookie QB in the fold, consistency is key, as is efficiency on short yardage running downs. Cobb often made something of nothing while at Minnesota, running behind a poor offensive line. Despite this, he showed a ton of ability and endurance, taking 30+ carries for 4 straight games at one point.
Cobb and Sankey should make a talented pair of runners for Tennessee in 2015. Along with versatile H-back Jalston Fowler and a retooled offensive line, the team should display a much improved rushing attack in Mariota's first season.
The Titans have taken their first step to restocking their once-proud backfield. That should lead to greater offensive production for Tennessee in 2015.