Brandin Cooks and Willie Snead
Everybody had a feeling New Orleans Saints second-year wideout Brandin Cooks was going to break out, and he did. There was no ‘sophomore slump’ for him. After his rookie season came to an early end by way of a hand injury, he immediately bounced back in 2015, which started as soon as he stepped out onto the field at minicamp in June. He had a bit of a slow start to the regular season but quickly found his way.
Lightning speed, versatility, great hands, and excellent route-running skills assisted in his efforts to break the 1,000-yard receiving barrier in 2015 with a grand total of 1,138 yards on 84 catches, tallying nine trips to the end zone in the process, as he was Drew Brees’ go-to man on offense.
As for Snead, the 2014 undrafted free agent, who the Saints signed to their practice squad in December of 2014, made a ton of noise during training camp and preseason. It was clear he wanted a job down on the bayou, and a job he got after he made the final 53-man roster as the team’s fourth wideout. He took full advantage of it.
Snead quickly climbed the totem pole, finishing third on the team in receptions with 69 and second in receiving yards 984, while adding three touchdowns in the process. If it weren’t for a nagging calf injury that kept him sidelined Week 13, he very likely would have reached that 1,000-yard milestone.
Striking gold is the name of the game when it comes to New Orleans hitting on overlooked talent in the undrafted free agent market. Nobody-turned-somebody Willie Snead was nothing short of remarkable in his first year with the Saints. Both Cooks and Snead have a very bright future ahead of them.
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