The New Orleans Saints' high-octane offense was lacking weapons heading into the 2014 season, so Mickey Loomis and Co. swung a deal with the Arizona Cardinals in order to draft wide receiver Brandin Cooks.
Albert Breer of the NFL Network provided details of the trade:
Cardinals got the Saints' third-round pick (91st overall) to move back seven spots to 27 from 20.— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) May 9, 2014
The Delaware News Journal's Martin Frank explained the rationale behind the Saints' decision to move up:
Hearing that Eagles wanted Cooks, but NO traded up to get him. They're on the clock after GB took Ha Ha Clinton-Dix.— Martin Frank (@Mfranknfl) May 9, 2014
As FOX Sports Ohio's Zac Jackson argued, this is a match made in heaven:
Cooks can fly. He fits the Saints well.— Zac Jackson (@FSOhioZJackson) May 9, 2014
Marques Colston is entering his ninth season, Darren Sproles departed in the offseason and the Saints were in need of some youth and speed in the wide receiving corps.
Cooks provides just that.
The 2013 Biletnikoff Award winner led the nation with 1,730 receiving yards on 128 catches this season. While he doesn't have the size (5'10", 189 pounds) to be a true red-zone threat (not that he needs to be with Jimmy Graham on the roster), Cooks has world-class speed and is extremely elusive in space, boasting similar qualities to Tavon Austin and Percy Harvin.
He'll likely play a similar role as Sproles, getting the ball on screens and quick routes, where he is most dangerous racking up yards after catch.
Bleacher Report's Matt Bowen further expanded on his potential role:
#Saints just added a playmaker in WR Brandin Cooks. Will create matchups inside of the numbers with his speed + open field ability.— Matt Bowen (@MattBowen41) May 9, 2014
CBS Sports' Dane Brugler took it a step further, noting Cooks' game-changing agility plus the Saints' fast, pass-heavy offense equals lots of big numbers:
Cooks might be my very early pick for Offensive ROY. He's going to be lethal in that offense #Saints— Dane Brugler (@dpbrugler) May 9, 2014
When Sproles left, it started to look like the Saints' production was headed for a drop-off. But Drew Brees still has his two favorite targets in Colston and Graham, Kenny Stills will likely take a big step forward after an enticing rookie campaign and Cooks is a fantastic addition.
This offense isn't slowing down—literally, thanks to the Oregon State product—anytime soon.