The Archer has found a new home in Foxborough
Back on March 11th, the Patriots agreed to trade their first and third (No. 32 and 103) picks in the 2017 Draft to the New Orleans Saints in exchange for their 23-year-old star wide receiver Brandin Cooks and their fourth round pick (No. 118). As a personal fan of Cooks since he entered the league in 2014 from Oregon State, coach Bill Belichick has since been ecstatic about adding him to the Patriots’ already talented receiving corps. Belichick commented on Cooks’s raw talent when the Patriots and Saints held joint practices and played each other in the preseasons of 2015 and 2016. “I’m glad we don’t have to play him twice a year and he’s not in our division. He’s a really good player”.
Cooks made a splash in his three seasons in New Orleans, racking up 2,861 receiving yards from 215 receptions and catching 20 touchdown passes. Although the number-one wide receiver on the Saints early in his career, the team deemed him expendable after rookie receiver Michael Thomas had proved his worth. The Saints have not fallen under fourth place in total offense since 2010. However, on the other side of the ball, their defense struggled, ranking thirty first in points allowed this season. To improve their ailing defense, the Saints begrudgingly parted ways with their emerging receiver Cooks this off season.
Patriots 2017: all the more scarier on offense
Brandin Cooks’s incredible speed is his primary weapon to make some of the unbelievable catches that he has hauled in during his three-year tenure in the league. This clearly aids him in evading the opposing cornerback and creating separation as he runs routes with ease. Cooks possesses extraordinary awareness when running routes with his ability to place his hands in the perfect position to haul in any pass. Cooks has averaged a 69.5% catch percentage in the 315 times he has been targeted in the NFL, which illustrates his reliability as a receiver, even when he runs deep.
Versatile Cooks Meets Indomitable Brady
Tom Brady finally has a new a new deep-threat star receiver. One that already has been drawing comparisons reminiscent of Randy Moss’s time with the Patriots. No stranger to working alongside an elite quarterback, Cooks holds praise for Tom, saying, “To play with a guy like that is special. The way that he pays attention to the game, he makes you up your level a little more.” Cooks intends to do whatever he can to quickly become a valuable receiver for Brady, and has proven himself thus far on the practice field.
For the first time in his NFL career, Brandin Cooks will be part of a deeply talented and competitive group of wide receivers. He will likely not face the same workload that he did in New Orleans, with split reps, but he will enjoy being part of such a selfless group. Cooks will presumably assume the role of running go-routes and streaks down the sideline as a deep threat, a duty Chris Hogan possessed last season. Cooks will definitely run many diverse routes as well, but his speed makes him a front-runner to be the offense’s new vertical threat.
Brandin Cooks will show quickly that he will fit into the Patriot’s aggressive offensive scheme and has a chance this season to build off of having two consecutive years with 1100+ yards.