News & Analysis

Cooks' deep-ball skills should fit well in New England

XXX during the NFL game at the University of Phoenix Stadium on December 18, 2016 in Glendale, Arizona.

  • The New England Patriots traded their first-round pick in the 2017 draft to acquire Brandin Cooks from the New Orleans Saints.
  • Last season, New England’s greatest deep threat was Chris Hogan, who caught 10 deep passes (balls that travel at least 20 yards in the air) for 397 yards and three touchdowns.
  • After Hogan, there was not much production from the Patriots’ receiving corps on deep passes. Julian Edelman was the only other receiver on the Patriots roster to be targeted on a deep pass more than six times last season, with all New England receivers not named Hogan or Edelman combining to catch just three balls on 12 deep targets.
  • Cooks was targeted on deep passes 24 times last season, catching 11 of those passes for 544 yards and four touchdowns; his 45.8 percent catch rate (percentage of receptions compared to targets on balls thrown 20 yards or more) ranked fourth among all receivers who saw at least 20 deep targets, trailing only T.Y. Hilton, A.J. Green, and DeSean Jackson.
  • One route Cook excels at specifically is the go route. Over his last 21 games, Cooks has run 27 go routes, with an average depth of target of 28.7 yards. He hauled in 12 of those targets for 550 yards and four touchdowns. Saints QBs had a 115.4 QB rating when throwing the go route to Cooks over that stretch, 30.7 points higher than the league average.

Brandin Cooks

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