After the departure of Darren Sproles this offseason, the New Orleans Saints made it clear that they would be targeting speed in the 2014 NFL Draft. On top of that, with the loss of slot receiver Lance Moore, Sean Payton and company planned to go after his replacement as well. Well, they killed two birds with one stone by adding Oregon State WR Brandin Cooks, giving Drew Brees a new toy to play with.
The Saints swapped positions in the draft with the Arizona Cardinals, providing them with the No. 27 overall pick and their third rounder for pick No. 20.
Brandin Cooks enters the NFL as the fastest receiver in his draft class, running a 4.33 40-yard dash at this year’s scouting combine. He has quick feet, great balance and an uncanny ability to separate from his defenders. Cooks is a tad bit on the small size, but Oregon State’s team captain has shown excellent durability throughout his college and high school careers.
Last season, Cooks reeled in a whopping 128 catches for 1,730 yards (NCAA leader) and 16 scores. During his three years at Oregon State, he totaled 226 grabs, 3,272 yards and 24 touchdowns. In 2013, Cooks also rushed for 6.8 yards per carry with 32 attempts for 217 yards and two scores. He has the ability to be a playmaker all over the field. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Saints try him out on special teams as well; New Orleans could certainly use a spark in their return game (an area that they have needed to improve as of late).
It was a bit of a surprise when the Saints traded up to grab Brandin Cooks. I personally believe hey should have stayed put at 27, given the amount of depth in this year’s class. However, Coach Sean Payton and GM Mickey Loomis always seem to have things under control. Cooks has the potential to make an immediate impact in the Big Easy’s high-powered offense. Adding the speed demon the receiving corps was good move by the Saints.