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2019 Los Angeles Rams roster preview: WR Brandin Cooks ‘em.

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Cooks turned out to be the perfect replacement for Sammy Watkins last season. Expect more of the same.

NFL: San Francisco 49ers at Los Angeles Rams Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

When the Kansas City Chiefs elected to break the bank to sign former Los Angeles Rams wide receiver (and self-proclaimed “reptilian solar being”) Sammy Watkins prior to last season, the Rams needed to find a replacement who would be able to adequately stretch the field and keep the Rams’ offense humming.

General Manager Les Snead wasted little time in acquiring a more than adequate replacement by trading for New England Patriots burner Brandin Cooks. Snead then promptly signed Cooks to a five-year, $81m extension $20.5m of which was guaranteed all before Cooks has played a single snap as a Ram.

There were questions marks following the extension. Why had the New Orleans Saints and the Pats both been so willing to move on from Cooks? What would Cooks look like when he wasn’t catching passes from future Hall Of Famers at QB in Tom Brady and Drew Brees? Would the Rams suffer in the red zone, where the more physical Watkins had been a reliable target?

As it turned out, Cooks didn’t miss a beat.

His 1,204 receiving yards were a career high, and his 80 receptions made it clear that Cooks was much more than just a deep threat. He was an integral part of Sean McVay’s offensive machine. According to Pro Football Focus, Cooks was ranked first in corner routes and second in screens and post routes. Those type of stats helped illustrate the depth of Cooks’ arsenal which is far more diverse than your average deep threat generally offers. By midseason, Cooks’ early extension made plenty of sense.

Roster Battle

Barring injury, the Rams’ super trio of Brandin Cooks, Robert Woods, and Cooper Kupp is three the hard way for any secondary as evidenced by the Rams’ wideouts ranking 3rd in the NFL per PFF. With all due respect to Josh Reynolds, who is a heck of a fourth option, there is currently no roster battle at this position.

Expectations

Cooks is the first player in NFL history to record three straight seasons with 1,000 receiving yards with three different teams. There is no reason to believe that he will do any less this season.

Chances of Making the Roster (11/10)

Top Tier baby!