Houston Texans news exploded last week with the acquisition of Brandin Cooks.
Hopkins was the second greatest receiver in Texans’ history, behind Andre Johnson. The trades with the Cardinals, then Rams, essentially swapped him for Cooks. Considering Hopkins’ track record of production for the Texans, this may have seemed a bit crazy.
Don’t forget one key fact. Brandin Cooks is an explosive receiver. He ranks 16th in the league among active players in yards per reception 14.3, and since his rookie season, he hasn’t averaged less than 13.5.
Yes, Cooks has a history with concussions, and that is worrisome, but out of a possible 96 games, he’s played in all but eight! In those 88 games, he has only been shut out four times, and two of those came last year when he was often left out of the Rams’ offense. In fact, in those 88 games, he’s been held to under two catches a total of six times.
Brandin Cooks can bring explosiveness to the Houston Texans
As impressive is game-to-game productivity, it is even more impressive how successful Cooks was over three years, on three different teams, with three different quarterbacks and systems.
From 2016 through 2018, he averages 74.3 catches per season, 1,153 yards, 6.7 receiving touchdowns, and 15.5 yards per reception. In three separate offense!
Matt Westin on Battle Red Blog did a fantastic analysis of Cooks’ explosiveness and ability to stretch the field. Add him to an offense with Cobb, Will Fuller, Keke Coutee, and David Johnson, with Deshaun Watson at the helm, and things could be exciting.
Brandin Cooks gives the Texans a formidable receiving corps
The additions of Cooks, Cobb, and Johnson raise the overall level of the receiving corps, despite the loss of Hopkins. Sure, Watson lost his security blanket, but there are now several options with whom he can grow his trust.
He should be able to spread the targets out to a large number of receivers, all of whom can put up big numbers with opportunity. Depending on what happens with the roster between now and the season, Watson very well could have six viable receivers to throw to on any given play.
If Keke Coutee is the last option on any pass play, that says a lot about the talent level on this team.
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Yes, Hopkins will be missed, but Houston adding someone as explosive and talented as Brandin Cooks was great for the Texans. He can stretch the field against any defense, and he is consistently productive. He may not be as terrific has Hopkins as a possession receiver, but he is a fantastic addition to this offense.