Without Nelson, the 25-year-old Cobb becomes the senior member of the receiving corps in just his fifth NFL season, and the 22-year-old Adams moves into the No. 2 role in just his second season.
"He's poised for a breakout year," Cobb said Tuesday. "He's poised for a big year. I look forward to helping him accomplish that."
Cobb said he has sensed that since the end of last season, when Adams finished off his rookie season with eight catches for 124 yards and a touchdown in the playoffs -- seven of those catches, 117 of those yards and the touchdown came in the win over the Cowboys in the divisional round.
It was a little more than two months ago when quarterback Aaron Rodgers said Adams had "a humongous upside and he's starting to reach that upside," and coach Mike McCarthy called him the MVP of the Packers' offseason.
"It's hard to really know what the offseason MVP really means," Adams said. "But it's obviously goes to show I've been putting in some good work with my quarterback and [in] the weight room, just trying to be the best that I can. I feel like I've done a pretty good job of taking that into training camp and preseason as well."
When McCarthy and Rodgers made those comments, they had no idea just how important a role they would need Adams to play this season.
Except that Adams doesn't see it as a major difference.
"Because the way I was going into the season mentally, and the work that I put in and the confidence I had in our room as a whole and myself, I knew that I was going to be able to do things regardless," Adams said. "Obviously I would have never wanted anything to happen to one of the other receivers for me to have more production, because I was confident in my abilities before, but obviously with Jordy going down, more opportunities are going to come my way. So it's just a matter of capitalizing, which I was already planning on doing."
In at least one regard, Adams was correct: The No. 3 receiver is on the field nearly as much as the Nos. 1 and 2. Last year, the Packers used some variation of a three-receiver set on 71.1 percent of their offensive snaps.
Adams almost certainly will assume some of Nelson's deep routes on the perimeter given that the 5-foot-10 Cobb has excelled mostly as a slot receiver. Adams (6-1) caught 35 of his 38 regular-season passes when he was lined up either wide right (18 catches) or wide left (17). Only two came from the slot right and one from the slot left, according to ESPN Stats & Information. Cobb caught 75 of his 91 passes from the slot.
"It's weird to think now that Cobb will be the oldest one playing at five years [into his career],” Nelson said. "But Davante got a lot of experience last year, and he'll be in a great situation to step up and make a lot of plays. I know he'll take a lot of pride in that and take advantage of that opportunity."