MOST RELIABLE: Top 5 Saints That Fans Can Always Count On

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When a WR in the NFL puts up numbers such as 1,138 yards on 84 catches and 9 TD’s, it hardly qualifies as a season of unfulfilled promise. But when your name is Brandin Cooks and you play in the Saints offense — an offense tailor-made for your abilities — it kind of was.

As the New Orleans Advocate’s Saints beat writer Nick Underhill had mentioned in his article at the time, Cooks was getting open, but the issue that he was coming up against then was that when he fought through one of the jams by opposing CB’s or got down the field, he often ran into a safety over the top – which in turn limited his opportunities to make plays.

Simply stated: without former TE Jimmy Graham on the roster, Cooks had become the guy that opposing defenses looked to take away from the Saints offense. It showed in Cooks’ numbers through the first 7 games: only 35 receptions for 446 yards and 1 TD, or a 12.5 yards per catch average — far below what the expectation had been.

It was finally in a Week #8, November 1st home contest at the Superdome; that Saints fans got a true glimpse of the capability that Cooks possesses to become one of the League’s young superstars, in the Saints’ wild 52-49 shoot-out win over the New York Giants.

Cooks caught two of quarterback Drew Brees’ NFL record-tying 7 TD passes in what was his first break-out performance of last season, paving the way for a strong second half in which he amassed 738 yards on 49 receptions along with 8 TD’s.

That well-documented strong second half finish to end the Saints 2015 campaign would seem to suggest one undisputed notion: that Brandin Cooks is “set” to explode in 2016.

Additionally, Cooks proved that he could indeed be reliable as the brand new #1 WR for QB Drew Brees.

And now recently with the additions of TE Coby Fleener in Free Agency and rookie WR Michael Thomas in the Draft to help “free up” Cooks, his reliability as the top weapon in the Saints offensive scheme is now all but guaranteed.

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