"Even though Darren Sproles played the running back position, we were creative with him," Brees told USA Today's Tom Pelissero this week. "We did a lot of things with him out of the backfield. We'd split him out. We'd throw him screens. We'd do all kinds of stuff with him. So, that role can be filled by maybe even a receiver.
"Hey, we go out in the draft and get a guy in Brandin Cooks out of Oregon State -- an explosive player, great speed, great talent, tremendous young man, loves to learn, loves the game of football. ... From all indications, this guy can do a lot of things for us, and he's eager to fill a role that we need him to on offense."
Brees' comments echo the recent sentiment from NFL Media's Bucky Brooks on the "Around The League Podcast" that Cooks is a candidate for "70-plus catches" while taking on a portion of the routes run by Sproles and Lance Moore.
"Oh man, I've seen all the highlights, and that gets you excited," Brees continued. "I think he can do a lot of things. I think he can play outside receiver. I think I he can play inside in the slot. You can hand him reverses. You can throw him screens. He can return punts.
"He's a very versatile player, very explosive player that you just want to get the ball in his hands and get it to him in space and good things will happen."
Whereas the wide receiver corps had grown old and stale last season, Cooks, second-year deep threat Kenny Stills and "Making the Leap" candidate Khiry Robinson are poised to inject a massive dose of playmaking ability into Brees' high-octane offense.