Pick #14 of the 2017 draft should be sent to the New Orleans Saints in return for wide receiver Brandin Cooks. Since the start of the Andy Reid era, “two” receivers (Jackson-2008, Maclin-2009) have been drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles who were both playmakers and had the ability to play the outside receiving role. By trading for Cooks, the Eagles would acquire a young playmaker who has already demonstrated he can achieve excellence at the professional level. Forget waiting on a rookie to shake off the rust or to blossom. Cooks is the best option for the Philadelphia Eagles with their 2017 first round selection.
John Ross is going to be one of the many counters to my Cooks statement. After running a 4.22 forty at the combine, the Eagles could simply take him in the first round, and not have to worry about extending his contract like they would with Cooks. Ross runs fast, very fast, but there have been plenty of fast athletes that didn’t translate to NFL players. Ross had issues in college against better competition finding separation, dropped a high rate of passes and has piled up a few injuries to his lean body type.
If statistics are on the table, the argument can be made that Cooks has not performed the same on grass as he does on turf. That is absolutely true, Cooks has 64 receptions for 861 yards and 6 touchdowns on grass and 151 receptions for 2000 yards and 14 touchdowns on turf. Kenny Stills, Darren Sproles and Jimmy Graham have all done well since leaving New Orleans; Cooks will be just fine on a new team.
Are you prepared to gamble on yet another wide receiver taken in the early rounds when you can ease that burden and get a proven player? Forget watching Ross highlights from college and watch highlights on Cooks over the last three NFL seasons. If you were willing to trade up and give up additional picks to get Mike Williams, then do the deal for Cooks. Corey Davis, another target at pick #14 has the size that Cooks doesn’t have, but I’d rather sign Britt to complement Cooks and pass on holding my breath that the Eagles got it right with drafting a wide receiver.
Rumors are swirling as the NFL tampering period is about to begin. Will the Saints come down from their demand of a mid-first round pick, reports say the Eagles are unwilling to give up pick #14, but I’d do it if that is what it took to get the deal done.