Brandin Cooks NFL Stats
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Brandin Cooks NFL Game Log
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- 2018 Offensive Snaps:
- 2018 Special Teams Snaps:
(Compared to other WRs)
Los Angeles Rams Team Injury Report
It's not often a 23-year-old rising star receiver is shipped out of town, but then again the Saints benched their best running back in favor of Tim Hightower's carcass for a couple games last year. In any event, the Patriots were happy to oblige, offering a first round pick and change for Cooks. While the New England passing game has a lot of mouths to feed -- all-world TE Rob Gronkowski is due back, plus Chris Hogan, James White, Dion Lewis and Malcolm Mitchell should all be involved -- Cook's elite quickness and game-breaking speed (4.33 40) are great fits for Tom Brady's quick-throw, short-passing game. An ACL injury that PPR-maven Julian Edelman suffered in late August could lead to an uptick in Cooks' volume. Think peak Wes Welker, but much faster. At 5-10, 189, Cooks is small, but the Patriots have gotten touchdowns for players like Welker and Edelman in the past by running quick slants in front of defenders near the goal line rather than fades over top. Cooks also provides the Patriots with a field stretcher, something the team had lacked in recent seasons. Last year with Drew Brees, Cooks had his most efficient season (15.0 YPC, 6th, 10.0 YPT, 3rd), and while his target depth could change in New England, he's hardly downgrading by switching to Brady. Volume is the only question, but if Cooks is as well suited to the Pats as he seems, we imagine Brady and Bill Belichick will make sure to call his number, incumbents be damned.
After a slow start, Cooks broke out in Year 2, making plays all over the field and scoring nine times. At 5-10, 189, Cooks is small, quick, elusive and blazingly fast (4.33 40). He is dangerous running after the catch on short balls, and he can beat defenses deep — five catches of at least 40 yards (T-14th ) on 129 targets (17th). Cooks was also efficient during his second season — his 8.8 YPT ranked 10th. Cooks heads into the season as the team's undisputed No. 1 receiver, but he will never be an elite fantasy option without seeing significantly more targets, especially in the red zone (only 10 last year, two from inside the 10). He profiles more as T.Y. Hilton than Antonio Brown, though Cooks won't turn 23 until December, so there is still room for growth. The Saints are also thinner than ever at wide receiver — only Willie Snead and possibly second-round pick Michael Thomas loom as competition. But coach Sean Payton and quarterback Drew Brees make prolific use of their running backs in the passing game, and the team added Coby Fleener to replace the departed Ben Watson at tight end.
If there's one player who can challenge Jordan Matthews for the title of Most Obvious Breakout Receiver Candidate it's probably Cooks. With Jimmy Graham in Seattle and Kenny Stills in Miami, Cooks is the likely top target in Sean Payton's high-volume passing attack this year. While 32-year-old Marques Colston is still around, his role has diminished for consecutive years, and he rarely saw No. 1 volume even at his peak. At 5-10, 189, Cooks makes up for in speed (4.33 40), burst and elusiveness what he lacks in size. He can catch a short pass and take it the distance, or he can get behind a defense and catch the long ball. Last year, Cooks' season was cut short by a thumb injury, so the sample on him (69 targets, 8.0 YPT) is small. Cooks isn't likely to see much red-zone work — only seven targets there last year — though with Graham gone someone has to absorb those looks, and Payton featured the diminutive Lance Moore in that area a few years ago.
The Saints traded up to No. 20 to take Cooks, and he could have a significant role right away. That’s because both of the team’s quick, short-pass-catching options – Darren Sproles and Lance Moore – have left via free agency, and Cooks appears likely to fill the void. Like Moore and Sproles, Cooks is small (5-10, 189), and he’s also very fast – his 4.33 40 was tops at the NFL Combine for receivers. While he won’t see much red-zone work, and it’s unlikely he’ll absorb the entirety of the 140 targets his predecessors saw last year, Cooks should see a decent portion of them if he can overcome the typically steep rookie learning curve.