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Ranking the New Orleans Saints’ 2015 roster: No. 4 Brandin Cooks

Saints vs 49ers in Superdome Brandin Cooks TD, saints vs 49ers
New Orleans Saints wide receiver Brandin Cooks could become the No. 1 weapon in the passing game in 2015. (David Grunfeld, | The Times-Picayune)

No. 4: WR Brandin Cooks

Last year’s rank: 15

Season: 2; Age: 21; Height: 5-10; Weight: 185

Cooks’ statistics from his rookie season wouldn’t suggest the Saints wide receiver should be ranked among the team’s best players. He logged 53 receptions for 550 yards and four total touchdowns, which seems more pedestrian than superb.

This ranking is based more upon ability and potential rather than his stat line from 2014. Cooks possesses the speed, quickness, route-running ability and hands to eventually become a Antonio Brown-like threat.

With Graham and Stills in Seattle and Miami, respectively, there’s little doubt Cooks will be Drew Brees’ top target in the passing game.

Brees and Cooks appeared to be scratching the surface in 2015 right when Cooks sustained a season-ending hand injury. Cooks has been completely healthy and available this offseason and should only serve as a positive in their relationship.

It’s highly likely the Saints will pull Cooks off returns with the likes of Jalen Saunders and Marcus Murphy as more natural fits.

Asking Cooks to become the team’s No. 1 receiving threat so early in his career may not be optimal, but Cooks is more than able to assume the role.