ESPN.com's Mike Triplett posted a story about Saints rookie wide receiver Brandin Cooks on Friday. The quick takeaway: Everybody loves him.
"Everybody looked at each other like, 'Wow, this kid is definitely at a different speed," tight end Ben Watson said of Cooks.
Linebacker Junior Galette said Cooks' speed is "top tier" in the NFL. Former player and current NFL writer Matt Bowen said Cooks is "Az Hakim, Part 2. You don't want to cover him in the slot."
Former NFL general manager and current ESPN analyst Phil Savage thinks Cooks has a better shot at immediate success than the Bills' Sammy Watkins because of Drew Brees and the Saints' offense.
"I could see Watkins having some of those one-catch, 15-yards kind of games, just because E.J. Manuel didn't play well or they double up Watkins and he's gotta go other places with the ball. Whereas with Cooks, I think there's gonna be probably three or four automatic completions in every game plan."
Triplett said Cooks can be the NFL Offensive Rookie of the year and will hit a lot of "home runs" on screens, reverses, deep balls, and punt returns.
The Hakim comparison might not excite some of you because he was never an outstanding producer on offense, but do you remember how fast that guy was while playing with the Rams at the start of this millennium? He was an incredible punt returner. That was the embodiment of big-play speed. If Cooks has that kind of speed, look out.
Triplett's projected stat line for Cooks isn't too crazy -- 70 catches, 800 yards -- but those are WR3-worthy numbers. He is currently being drafted in the mid-30s among WRs, but I expect that position to rise as we go through training camp. The hype will continue to build.