New Orleans Saints: Is Jared Cook a top-ten tight end?

The New Orleans Saints are looking to dominate the red zone behind tight end Jared Cook. Does that encouraging factor make him a top-ten tight end?

If Jared Cook’s second half of the 2019 season extended all 2020, he’d be looking at easily the best year of his career. Also, if it had started from Week 1, the Saints 2019 offseason addition would’ve collected the most touchdowns by a tight end in the league.

So, yes, Jared Cook is a top-ten tight end, and in 2020, he may cement himself as one of the best five in the league. But, the Saints will have to use him in such a way that he’ll have that opportunity.

To start 2019, they knew what he was capable of but continued to blast Michael Thomas. Future Hall of Fame Drew Brees being out weeks three through seven may also play a part in Cook’s slow increase of usage.

What makes Cook such an elite target is his unique mix of size and speed. That’s what separates most top-tier tight ends. Linebackers can’t hang with Cook while cornerbacks can’t size up with him.

Cody Benjamin of CBS Sports kicked off Cook’s section of his top-ten tight ends rankings by saying: “Is there a more underrated veteran TE than Cook?”

A third-round pick in the 2009 draft, Cook has played for multiple teams that didn’t truly appreciate how much of a mismatch nightmare he could be. Now, the 33-year-old may be primed for his best season yet.

Standing 6-foot-5 and showing a 41-inch vertical, Cook can sky for balls, and with the ultra-accurate Drew Brees, Cook’s athleticism is that much more effective.

That said, with the return of Rob Gronkowski and the dominance of George Kittle and Travis Kelce along with several other top tight ends, it’s tough to see Cook being in the top five at his position to start the season.

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But, it certainly. wouldn’t shock any Saints’ fans if the numbers showed otherwise at the end of the season.

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