Earlier this morning multiple reports surfaced that Brandin Cooks was the subject of trade talks. ESPN’s Chris Mortensen named the Titans specifically as a potential suitor.
I was in favor of this when rumors started swirling that Cooks was frustrated with his role in the Saints mid-season. Although Cooks plays in that wide open Saints attack, he’s not “the guy” in the offense and often turned invisible in games. That isn’t necessarily any fault of his, rather a product of an offense that features so many different options.
That doesn’t mean he didn’t produce, however. He doesn’t turn 24 until September and already has two 1,100 yard seasons under his belt. He has 17 touchdowns over the past two seasons. Getting out of New Orleans could actually make him more productive, as odd as that sounds.
Most of the talk around the Cooks trade has involved first round picks. With the Titans in serious need of pass catchers, I would give up the 18th pick in a heartbeat. You’re likely going to spend the pick on an unproven rookie receiver, so why not spend the pick on a proven, productive youthful piece?
Especially at pick 18, where your best option may be John Ross — a guy that’s similar to Cooks but has a decorated injury history. Take the proven, 23 year old guy every time.
Even more enticing is the thought of adding Cooks for a swap of the 5th and 11th pick, which was floated as an option by Schefter this morning. This is a way to add your receiver while still keeping two first round picks. If this is on the table, you pull the trigger immediately. You could potentially add a corner and a wildcard selection like Reuben Foster or even OJ Howard.
How’s that for a first round haul?
Cooks would add speed to the offense — a group that desperately needs it. Mularkey has mentioned multiple times that he wants to add speed, so Cook certainly makes sense from that standpoint.
He would give Mariota a legitimate deep threat and take some pressure off of Delanie Walker and Rishard Matthews. He would also get those safeties out of the box creeping downhill waiting to stop DeMarco Murray and Derrick Henry.
I really like the idea of Cooks in this offense. Mariota hasn’t played with weapons yet. He’s made due with what he’s been given, but placing athletes like Cooks around Mariota is how you maximize your quarterback. A core of Mariota-Cooks-Matthews-Walker-Murray-Henry along with that outstanding offensive line is a really nice start for the offense.
If I’m Jon Robinson, I’m making this happen and then I’m attacking the defense in the draft.