Texans wide receiver Brandin Cooks is in line for a monster upcoming season.
There may not be a more underrated player in the NFL than Brandin Cooks of the Houston Texans. The Texans receiver has simply been the model of consistency since entering the league in 2014.
Cooks has totaled six 1,000 yard seasons over the span of eight years, and what makes this even more impressive, is he’s done this with four different teams, and some questionable quarterbacks along the way.
Cooks had the luxury of playing with Drew Brees and Tom Brady during the early stages of his career. However, for the past few years, he’s had to overcome the likes of Jared Goff, and a mix of Tyrod Taylor and Davis Mills.
Then again, no matter who has been throwing the ball, Cooks always performed at a high level. Now fresh off a 2021 season which saw the Houston receiver total 1,037 yards and six touchdowns, what are the expectations for 2022?
Here is one opinion … Cooks is in line for his best season yet, but what exactly would that entail?
There’s a couple ways to look at it. If we’re just doing one best season, 2015 is likely Cooks’ best. That year, he had 84 catches for 1,138 yards and nine touchdowns with the Saints. If we’re just doing his career bests, he had 90 catches in 2021, 1,204 yards in 2018, and nine touchdowns in 2015.
Either way, Cooks could outperform all of those numbers in 2022. This is for a couple reasons.
How can Texans WR Brandin Cooks have his best season yet in the NFL?
The first being the continuance of quarterback play. After taking over at quarterback during the 2021 season, Davis Mills is set to be Houston’s full time signal caller for 2022.
Cooks performed well with Mills, totaling 74 catches for 786 yards and five touchdowns in 12 games. Further development on Mills’ end, along with a continued rapport between the two should only lead to increased numbers for Cooks.
The other reason for optimism is the lack of receiving options for the Texans outside of Cooks. Rookie second round pick John Metchie III was supposed to come in and provide Houston with another threat. However, it was recently announced Metchie would likely miss the 2022 season after being diagnosed with leukemia (hopes for a speedy and full recovery to Metchie).
With the rookie out of the fold for ’22, that leaves second-year receiver Nico Collins, and Chris Conley as the team’s next best receiving options. Both players failed to eclipse 450 receiving yards last in 2021, and while Collins very well could develop into something, Conley — who is 29 years old — may have already hit his ceiling.
This leaves a plethora of work available for Cooks. Pair that with a developing Houston team that will likely be playing catch up needing to throw the ball, and Cooks opportunities only grow that much further.
So what will the final stat line look like for Cooks? With the 17th game being implemented, something along the lines of 100 catches, 1,250 yards, and 10 touchdowns isn’t insane to imagine.
That equals out to a per game basis of 5.9 catches, 73.5 yards, and 0.6 touchdowns. Numbers Cooks easily can achieve on any given week. Now we just have to see if he if he can sustain it for all of 2022.