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Brooks: Saints have big plans for rookie Brandin Cooks

Marc Sessler raised a few eyebrows when he predicted that New Orleans Saints first-round pick Brandin Cooks will lead all rookie wide receivers in production this season.

Sessler isn't alone in that sentiment.

On Friday's edition of the "Around The League Podcast," NFL Media analyst Bucky Brooks predicted that Cooks will pile up "70-plus catches" as a rookie while supplanting the recently vacated roles of Darren Sproles and Lance Moore in the high-octane aerial attack.

"The fact that the Saints jumped up to get him shows that Sean Payton has a plan for him," Brooks explained. "And I think that plan could include him being the guy that plays all over the field ... He should have a big, big, big season. I'm not a fantasy football player, but I would put a lot of money on Brandin Cooks if he was my guy."

The No. 20 overall pick has already opened the eyes of Payton, defensive coordinator Rob Ryan and quarterback Drew Brees.

"There's no doubt he's a guy who has the ability to be a big contributor for us on offense this year," Brees said this week, via The Associated Press.

Brees and Payton have both echoed Brooks' point that Cook can replace Sproles' mismatch capabilities underneath as well as Moore's versatility as an inside-outside receiver.

Cooks is the perfect antidote for an offense that was showing signs of growing feeble -- just as Payton and Brees are the ideal combination to bring out the best in a uniquely talented playmaker.

The latest "Around The League Podcast" predicts 2014 starting lineups and talks insider goodness with Bucky Brooks.

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