Dec 21, 2015; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints wide receiver Brandin Cooks (10) makes a 27-yard touchdown catch while defended by Detroit Lions cornerback Nevin Lawson (24) in the third quarter of the game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports
#2. Brandin Cooks is Poised to Become a Super Star
I put Brandin Cooks ahead of Mark Ingram because I believe Cooks is on the cusp of putting up Antonio Brown type numbers, and becoming one of the best receivers in the game.
Last season, the Saints held joint practices with the Patriots during the pre-season. This is what Malcolm Butler, (the corner who won the Super Bowl for New England with that goal-line interception) had to say about Cooks.
“The sky’s the limit for him”-Randy Moss on Brandin Cooks
“This is one of the fastest guys I done checked since I’ve been in the NFL, that’s the honest truth. The guy can change his releases on the line. The guy can stop on a dime. Some people can stop, but this guy can immediately stop.”
Randy Moss was also in attendance and was quoted as saying, “The sky’s the limit”, for Brandin Cooks.
With another season under his belt from the time those comments were made, Cooks has had more time to develop a chemistry with Drew Brees, and to understand how opposing defenses will choose to cover him.
This leap in understanding also started to show up at the tail end of last season. In 3 of the last 5 games, Cooks put up over 100 yards receiving, and had 3 touchdowns.
My last piece of evidence is the career trajectory of Antonio Brown himself. Like Brandin Cooks, Antonio Brown is a smaller receiver, both receivers are exactly 5’10”, but he uses his explosive speed to subject defenses to his will.
Antonio Brown’s breakout season came in his 4th NFL season, when he went for over 1,400 yards receiving and 8 touchdowns.
With the combined genius of Drew Brees and Sean Payton working to develop Brandin Cooks, I’m betting he finds his breakout campaign a year earlier.
Which of course brings us to the Saints’ very best fantasy player in 2016….
Next: The General has His Troops