One of the most underrated picks in the draft was made by the New Orleans Saints, who selected former Oregon State wide receiver Brandin Cooks.
Cooks ran a 4.33 second 40 yard dash, second fastest at the Scouting Combine, and playing on the Superdome turf is going to have a very favorable home field advantage for his speed. Adding that element to the Saints’ offense is going to make them even more dynamic, something teams especially in the NFC aren’t going to be overly excited about.
Playing either outside or the slot, Cooks has the quickness and awareness to be a thorn in the side of defenses from a lot of places on the field. Despite being only 5’10” and just a hair under 200 pounds, Cooks knows how to make defenders miss and is a really natural receiver.
In other words, he’s going to be Drew Brees’ new favorite toy. Not only do I see him being a nightmare for teams on third downs, but he could also be dangerous in the red zone with his ability to make people miss. He isn’t a big tree out there like Jimmy Graham in the red area, but he’s the type of guy that will force defenses into really tough situations.
Saints players are already lauding his speed. Keenan Lewis was recently quoted by the New Orleans Times-Picayune as saying you can blink, and Cooks will be 50 yards past you downfield.
“I called him ‘lightning,'” Lewis said Friday. “A (defensive back) might be in his back pocket and the next thing you know he’s 50, 60 yards down the field.”
It remains to be seen how prominent Cooks will be featured in the Saints’ offense, but I don’t think it’s going to take long for him to become adjusted to the NFL with all the talent around him in New Orleans, as well as the tutelage and help of having a quarterback like Drew Brees.
Cooks is a guy that can not only help the Saints stretch the field, but he’s another huge weapon on third downs and in the red zone. To put this fast and quick of a slot receiver type in with Drew Brees is almost unfair, and I think the Saints made the right call with this one.