Rookie wide receiver Brandin Cooks couldn’t have gotten luckier on draft night. The New Orleans Saints selected with the 20th overall pick in the first round after they traded with the Arizona Cardinals. The Saints fell in love with Cooks’ top-end speed, which was a hole that the Saints had to fill since Darren Sproles‘ departure to Philadelphia in free agency. At the 2014 NFL Scouting Combine, he ran a 4.33 second 40-yard dash, which was the fastest time of any receiver at the combine. The Saints hit a home run since they have certainly filled a need and gained a player that will fit nicely in the team’s system.
Cooks comes from an offensive system at Oregon State that was ranked third in the nation in passing yards last season and 30th in scoring. Cooks was a pick that made perfect sense for the New Orleans. They picked an almost mirror image of Sproles, who will be utilized in the slot more than in the backfield. The prospect of the Saints having a player just like Sproles is exciting enough, but Cooks’ ability to stretch the field and go deep should only add to that excitement for fantasy football GMs. The electric play maker lead the FBS last season with 32 receptions over 20+ yards. If anybody has the ability to utilize the rookie’s skill seat it’s Saints offensive mastermind Sean Payton.
Fantasy football GMs should not jump early on drafting Cooks simply based on all of his exciting potential. Keep in mind that he will most likely be sitting behind Marques Colston and Kenny Stills on the depth chart. Cooks’ should still be a highly valuable PPR pick, as he should see a high volume of short yardage receptions. The Saints will look to have him do a lot of work with yards after the catch.