It seems like Brandin Cooks has finally found a home.
After playing for three different teams over the last three years, it seems safe to say that the wide receiver will be playing for the Los Angeles Rams in 2019, marking the first time since 2016 that he will be starting a season with the same club he played for the year before.
Cooks is coming off of what was the best season of his career, as he hauled in 80 receptions for 1,204 yards and five touchdowns in what was an incredibly explosive Rams offense that made it all the way to the Super Bowl before falling to the New England Patriots.
The 25-year-old is part of a deep receiving corps that also includes Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp, and even though Woods actually eked out Cooks for the team lead in receiving yards with 1,219 in 2018, Cooks is the best wide out on the team.
So, what can Cooks do to replicate—or potentially top—his terrific 2018 campaign?
Let’s break down a few goals for the receiver.
3. Catch 80 Passes Again
Honestly, it is going to be difficult for Cooks to bolster his numbers from a year ago, as the Rams’ offense is so deep and has so many options that the wealth will be spread around.
Taking that into consideration, it would be a pretty big accomplishment for Cooks to haul in 80 receptions for the second straight year and for what would be the third time in his six-year NFL career.
He was targeted 117 times this past season, and that number is likely to be similar in 2018. As a matter of fact, that has been the ballpark number for most of Cooks’ NFL tenure, as he has logged 129, 117, 114, and 117 targets over the last four years, respectively.
Cooks posted a catch percentage of 68.4 percent in 2018, which was his best mark since catching 53 passes in 69 targets over a 10-game sample size during his rookie campaign with the New Orleans Saints.
If he does that again in 2019, he should catch 80 balls.
2. Finish with 1,000 Yards for the Fifth Straight Year
When you think of the best receivers in the NFL, you think of guys like Antonio Brown, Odell Beckham Jr., and Julio Jones. You wouldn’t typically think of Cooks, who is not necessarily a dominant physical force, but he is certainly consistent.
He has currently recorded four straight 1,000-yard campaigns, which is a big achievement in and of itself for a guy who is not universally recognized as one of the game’s top wide outs.
So, what is stopping him from doing it for a fifth consecutive year in 2019 with the Rams?
Woods has not missed a game since his rookie season, so he has gotten the chance to stay on the field to keep racking up these numbers. Given that he will likely be Jared Goff’s No. 1 receiver again in 2019, it seems hard to imagine him not finishing with 1,000 yards again so long as he stays healthy.
1. Make the Pro Bowl
In spite of all of Cooks’ success since entering the league in 2014, he is yet to make a Pro Bowl. Could this be the first year he earns the honor?
It will be tough. After all, wide receiver is a glamorous position, and the NFC boasts a ton of great wide outs, but so long as Cooks stays at it and continues to produce at his current level, one day, he will make the Pro Bowl.
A case could have easily been made for him this past season, and if we are being honest, he should have been selected ahead of Amari Cooper, who only played half the season in the NFC and finished with 1,005 yards and seven touchdowns total.
If Cooks racks up 1,000 yards again and the Rams are once again in Super Bowl contention, he should absolutely earn serious Pro Bowl consideration and may very well end up making it for the first time.