As the hours pass, it seems more and more likely that the New Orleans Saints are leaning heavily towards trading WR Brandin Cooks, who just finished his third year in the league with eight touchdowns and 1173 yards on 78 catches, clocking in at fifteen yards per catch. The Saints have put it out there that Cooks is not going anywhere for anything less than a first round draft pick. Whether or not that will be the end result, it provides us with plenty of theoretical trade scenarios to contemplate and argue over. That’s what sports is all about anyway, right?
The #Saints are aiming high value-wise for a potential WR Brandin Cooks trade. They've told teams they want a 1st round pick.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 3, 2017
The two prevailing teams that may become attached at the hip with New Orleans in a trade (that we will discuss at length for years to come, for better or worse) are the Philadelphia Eagles and the
Houston Oilers Tennessee Titans. The trade makes sense for both teams, who need to upgrade their receiver corps to aid in the development of their young, talented, mobile quarterbacks. The speedy Cooks can provide target opportunities all over the field for Carson Wentz and Marcus Mariota.
Saints WR Brandin Cooks is the object of trade talks with the Titans and Eagles identified as two interested suitors, per league sources.— Chris Mortensen (@mortreport) March 2, 2017
The Philadelphia Eagles appear to be putting together a package that will include a second-round pick, Mychal Kendricks, and Connor Barwin. The Tennessee Titans have a little more flexibility in what they can offer for Cooks. One scenario could be a straight up deal for the Titans’ 18th overall pick in this year’s draft. That ain’t bad. The main draw of that trade would be the acquisition of a first-round pick while retaining the 11th overall pick New Orleans is already slotted at.
However, the trade package I am drawn to is the second-most-likely deal that the Titans could offer. In return for Brandin Cooks and the 11th overall pick, the Saints would receive the Titans’ 5th overall pick in this year’s draft, which they received as a result of the ridiculous Jared Goff trade with the Los Angeles Rams (additional draft picks possible).
The allure of the fifth pick, aside from being involved in the drama and craziness that occurs on the front end of the draft, are the high impact players the Saints would have at their fingertips when they are on the clock. The sheer possibility of landing some of these guys should be enough to get a Saints fan frothing at the mouth. Wilder things have happened than a set-in-stone lock for the top pick drops a few spots. The fifth pick is where New Orleans could position itself to clean up what others leave on the table.
Onto my point.
Jonathan Allen is the large man in Crimson flying at Trevor Knight, the unfortunate victim, like he was fired out of a freaking cannon. The Alabama Defensive Lineman is a man among boys, even in the SEC. He is more than pro-ready and will offer the team that is fortunate enough to draft him a ceiling that... scratch that, there is no ceiling. Jonathan Allen’s potential is a convertible.
And everyone looks cooler in a convertible.
Allen’s 69 tackles, 16 tackles for loss, and 10.5 sacks earned him seventh in the Heisman Trophy voting, which notoriously favors offensive players. He absolutely mauls opposing lines, can get to the ball carrier quick, and forces turnovers like it’s his job (which it will be very soon). I don’t even have to sell this guy that hard. His tape speaks for itself.
If the Saints trade Cooks and the 11th pick, there is no guarantee that Allen will be available at the fifth pick. However, the glimmer of hope that he might be is enough for me. New Orleans still comes out of that deal with a shiny new player and minus one receiver that doesn’t appear to want to play for this particular team.
So, Saints, you don’t have to make this deal...
... but it’d be a lot cooler if you did.