The 2015 regular season was a campaign like none other for the New Orleans Saints wide receiver corps. The Saints wide receivers had one of the best seasons in team history. Wideouts Brandin Cooks and Willie Snead combined for a total 2,122 receiving yards and 12 touchdown catches. The Saints could have had two 1,000-yard receivers this season; Willie Snead missed the 1,000-yard mark by only 16 yards.
Overall Snead impressed a lot of naysayers this season with his resurgence in the second half of the year. The duo of Brandin Cooks and Willie Snead are fortunate to have a quarterback like Drew Brees that is capable of throwing the football to them promptly.
Not too many wide receivers in the league right now have the luxury of having a guy like Drew Brees as their quarterback. The Saints wide receiver corps has the potential to be on the level of the Pittsburgh Steelers receiving trio. The combination of Antonio Brown, Martavis Bryant, and Markus Wheaton tore up the league for the second consecutive time.
I know that a lot of Saints fans do not believe that Brandin Cooks is not a legitimate number one receiver that has the size such as the likes of Antonio Brown. However, fans fail to realize that Antonio Brown was not always a number one receiver for the Steelers. Can Brandin Cooks have multiple 1,800-yard seasons like Antonio Brown?
I believe he can, but it all depends on how Head Coach Sean Payton decides to utilize Cooks in the Saints offense going forward. Another wrinkle that Payton likes to throw in the Saints offense is having Cooks run the football out of the backfield. We did not see a lot of those plays this season, but you never know what Sean Payton will have in store for the Saints offense next season.
The receiver that lines up opposite of Cooks, Willie Snead has been a great complimentary wide receiver for the Saints offense. Snead showed that he was capable of extending drives for the Saints offense that was so crucial going into the second half of the season. He also had some moments where he showed his inexperience playing at the next level.
In the game against the New York Giants, Snead caught a pass that was eventually intercepted by Trumaine McBride, who scored a touchdown off the deflection. As the season progressed, Snead would fix those crucial mistakes. Having a trio of three solid receivers on a team roster at the same time is becoming a trend in the National Football League lately.
Another team that has really good wide receivers is the Green Bay Packers. However, the Packers receiving corps regressed when top wideout Jordy Nelson missed the remainder of the season when he suffered a torn ACL injury in a preseason game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. For a team to have an explosive receiver tandem, a team must have a legitimate number one threat.
The reason is that when all of the attention is focused on the team’s number one target, it opens up opportunities for the other two receivers. Both the Steelers and Packers have their number one options in Antonio Brown and Jordy Nelson; do the Saints have theirs in Brandin Cooks? Like I previously stated, it all depends on what Sean Payton has planned for the offense going into next season.
I know that there’re a lot of Saints fans that would like to see the team draft Laquon Treadwell out of Ole Miss with their 1st round pick in the draft. Drafting Treadwell would be great, but I believe that the Saints already have legitimate options at the wide receiver position right now.
If Brandin Cooks, Willie Snead, and Brandon Coleman can elevate their performance to the next level, this offense can be at heights that we have never seen before, with Drew Brees as the conductor.
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