What Brandin Cooks Will Bring To The Patriots
Before I tackle the real point of this article I always like to start with a “background check”. Brandin Cooks came into the NFL after a very good college career at Oregon State.
He got 3,272 thousand yars in 226 carries, his average yards per catch was almost 15, he also averaged 86 yards per game, rushing wise he did make an impact but unless you’re in a team like New England | ;) | the rushing game isn’t really important for a wide receiver. Overall Cooks finished his college career with 24 receiving touchdowns and 2 rushing touchdowns.
This made the Saints pull the strings to try and get Cooks, could you imagine the Brees and Cooks connection?! They probably saw the duo as the future of the franchise and on May 9th, 2014 the Saints traded with the Cardinals, the NFC West team would receive a 1st round pick (27th overall where they picked Deone Bucannon) and 2014 3rd round pick (91st overall, they used that pick to get John Brown) for the 20th pick in the draft.
Cooks had an okay first year in NO, 53 receptions, 550 yards alongside 3 touchdowns was solid but the biggest takeaway from that year was Cooks’ 73 rushing yards, it looked like his rushing game could be vital for the Saints, however, that wasn’t enough to say he was worth the gamble and at the moment it looked like the Cardinals had won the trade. Of Course things change and Brandin Cooks went off on his second year in the NFL racking up 9 touchdowns, 1138 yards in 83 receptions, his longest was 71 yards, he averaged 13.5 yards per game and he was starting to look like the Oregon star he was. His third year in the NFL was even better, less targets, less receptions, more total yards, yards per game and only one less touchdown, yes it looked like Cooks was settling into is own, that is until reportedly Cooks had a fallout with the FO, apparently unhappy with his role at the team, despite having over 315 targets in 3 seasons, Brandin Cooks wanted to be traded.
Stats wise, something that Cooks should work on is the return game. Cooks didn’t get to return many kicks but when he did he was always dangerous and despite his longest return being 15 I still believe he could become a threat at returning kicks.
So, with his mind no longer in NO and with a trade requested that brings us to the present, on March 10th, 2017 Cooks was traded by Saints alongside a 2017 4th round pick (118th overall, that the Patriots traded to the Eagles) to the Patriots for a 2017 1st round pick (32nd overall, where the Saints took Ryan Ramczyk) and a 2017 3rd round pick (103rd overall, where the Saints got Trey Hendrickson).
Bill Belichick decided that the Patriots needed to add another reciver to their already strong core of Edelman, Hogan, Amendola and Malcolm Mitchell (the main guys) not to mention Rob Gronkowski and the receiving backs James White (Superbowl hero) and Dion Lewis.
So what can Cooks bring that all those other receivers don’t? Well, first of all, analysing the trade you have to assume that the Patriots didn’t see a playmaker falling to the 32nd pick, and I can agree with them, post draft we now know that Mike Williams, John Ross, Corey Davis were all taken extremely high (#7, #9, #5, respectively) and since the Patriots traded their second round pick they also wouldn’t be aquire guys like Zay Jones or Juju Smith Schuster. In hindsight, if BB was looking for a playmaker, he definitely got one better than anyone else he could have gotten with that 32nd pick.
But again, what does Cooks bring to this Patriots side?
Well, the answer is easy, a big play threat. Perhaps only Hogan was used that way in NE, but never to the extent that Cooks would be. During his time in NO you would see Brees throw it up in the air and let Brandin make a play more than once per game, the bond between the two got stronger every year and Brees would even practice with Cooks during the offseason. If the Brees/Cooks connection was so good, can you imagine how good he can be with, who many consider to be the GOAT, Tom Brady? Tom has knack for reading plays like no one else, he’ll make the most difficult throws you’ll see, he has led his team to amazing wins, he knows the playbook like no one else, and most importantly, he’s an incredible leader. If anyone can keep Cooks happy it’s the Patriots, they win a lot, they’re a perennial superbowl contenders, they got one of the best QBs in the league so the only thing that stops him from staying happy in New England is the amont of targets he might have but since BB tends to get the most of every player I believe he knows how to keep Cooks happy without jeopardizing the team’s happiness. Many question their moves, many will say Cooks wasn’t needed, you know what I say? The Patriots know how to win.
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