When we’re talking about “X factors” for the Saints in 2019, we’re not talking about the player who lines up in the “X” position as a pass catcher. No, instead we’re talking about the player who steps up for the team in a big way to make a difference at the position from the year before. Think Baker Mayfield for the Browns, George Kittle for the 49ers, or Jason McCourty for the New England Patriots in 2018.
When Bleacher Report named the biggest X-factor type player for the Saints in 2019, they went with veteran tight end Jared Cook:
Jimmy Graham last played for the New Orleans Saints in 2014. With all due respect to decorated veteran Ben Watson, 2014 was the last year in which the team had a dangerous receiving threat at the tight end position. Watson had just 400 yards and two scores in 2018.
The offseason addition of Pro Bowler Jared Cook, however, could change this.
Cook racked up 896 yards and six touchdowns with the Oakland Raiders last season, despite being the only pass-catcher opposing defenses had to focus on. With the Saints, he’ll be the No. 2 target behind Michael Thomas, and he’ll have the potential to change the way the passing attack operates.
It’s hard to argue too much with the rationale here. If Cook could be just a fraction of the player Jimmy Graham was in the New Orleans Saints offense, the Saints offense will be on another level in 2019.
Inject this into my veins now, please.