By Peter Gleason
If the Eagles’ interest in New Orleans Saints’ wide receiver Brandon Cooks sounds familiar, it certainly is:
Chip Kelly and the Eagles were intrigued by Cooks coming out of Oregon State in 2014, but he was selected by New Orleans prior to the Birds’ pick at No. 26. Instead, the Eagles took defensive end Marcus Smith in the first round that year.
Smith didn’t really fit well in Billy Davis’ 3-4 scheme, but last year Smith showed flashes of potential in a 4-3 defense. Smith had 2.5 sacks and nine tackles in 217 snaps in 2016.
Cooks, on the other hand, has produced so far in his NFL career. He has over 1,100 yards in each of the past two seasons. Cooks also has also scored a total of 17 touchdowns in those two years.
“Maybe Chip Kelly is looking to take another speedy receiver in that first round, and that could be me. Who knows?” Cooks said to Jimmy Kempski in 2014. “And if that’s the case, a lot of people will wonder ‘Can he do it like DeSean Jackson?’ In my opinion, I can do it like him and do it better.”
Unfortunately the Eagles never got the chance to see if Cooks’ play could back up his talk. The Saints traded up and selected him six picks before the Eagles.
Now, three years later, the Eagles may have the opportunity to get Cooks. It could take as much as a first-round pick to pry him away from New Orleans, but Cooks could give the Eagles the deep-threat they’ve been looking for ever since Jackson was released in 2014.