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Recent posts by Dan Arkush
Every Monday, PFW executive editor and resident Packers expert Dan Arkush identifies three up-and-comers and three players going the opposite direction on his Packers stock report.
1. WR-RS Randall Cobb: Eat your heart out, Devin Hester. After one regular-season game, it appears Cobb, who has bounced back with a flourish from preseason knee problems, could be tugging at Hester's cape for top kick-return honors in the NFC North. That's what happens when you tie a league record with an electrifying 108-yard kickoff return for a TD against the Saints in the season opener. On that return, the 2011 second-round pick's natural suddenness, exceptional balance and nifty second gear were all on glittering display on a national stage. Cobb also had a 31-yard punt return that was nullified by an illegal block by FB John Kuhn. In addition, he made his presence felt on a 32-yard TD pass from Aaron Rodgers and could provide a major impact moving forward in spot situations.
2. DE Jarius Wynn: The third-year pro came through with flying colors in place of the injured Mike Neal, registering four tackles and a sack in a solid, well-rounded effort. Wynn also broke up a screen pass for negative yardage. Wynn never stops grinding, and his nonstop hustle seems to keep getting rewarded more often than not.
3. ROLB Erik Walden: Walden continued to show what a great waiver-wire pickup he was last October with an impressive season-opening effort after overcoming stiff competition this offseason for the starting OLB job opposite Clay Matthews. Like Wynn, Walden also had four tackles and a sack against the Saints and showed tremendous athleticism on a pass breakup while defending Saints TE Jimmy Graham.
1. Special-teams coverage: Special-teams coach Shawn Slocum no doubt is getting hoarse screaming into his bullhorn on the practice field after the Packers allowed 175 return yards against the Saints, including a 72-yard punt return for a TD by Darren Sproles that cut Green Bay's lead to 21-17 midway through the second quarter. Sproles' TD came on a very marginal line-drive punt by P Tim Masthay, who had a subpar effort in Week One after looking really good all preseason.
2. CB Tramon Williams: Williams played well enough last season to be legitimately considered one of the league's best cornerbacks. But watching him get schooled by Saints WR Robert Meachem on a 31-yard TD catch in Week One was a bit disconcerting. Williams hurt his shoulder in Week One, but all indications are that it isn't anything to worry about.
3. WR James Jones: His Week One numbers don't lie: one catch for one yard. But Packers offensive coordinator Joe Philbin insists Jones will get plenty of opportunities before too long to justify the new three-year, $9.4 million contract he signed July 31.