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May 8, 2014; New York, NY, USA; Brandin Cooks (Oregon State) poses for photos after being selected as the number twenty overall pick in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft to the New Orleans Saints at Radio City Music Hall. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

Saints defensive coordinator Rob Ryan praises first-round pick WR Brandin Cooks

After addressing some needs on the defensive side of the ball in free agency with the acquisitions of Jairus Byrd and Champ Bailey, the New Orleans Saints went out in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft last weekend and got Drew Brees some help with the selections of wide receiver Brandin Cooks, one of the best at the position in the country the last few seasons.

So far since the draft, the Saints have held three practices with their rookies, and Cooks is already turning heads on the field. Paired with a quarterback like Brees, he’s going to give defensive coordinators headaches for years to come, and to validate that, you only have to ask the coordinator from his own team, Rob Ryan, whose had the pleasure of trying to defend him his first few days on the job.

“I was like, ‘Ooh. This guy opens your eyes,’” Ryan said of Cooks on Saturday, per The Associated Press. “You can certainly feel his speed. … They’re going to create roles to get this guy involved and it’ll be awesome.”

The best part about Cooks being in the Saints offense is that head coach Sean Payton could use him virtually anywhere, just as he also expressed to the AP in talking about his new weapon.

“He is versatile,” coach Sean Payton said during the team’s rookie minicamp. “He’s obviously a receiver and I think we can line him up in the slot, line him up outside. He’s got a very good skill set with regards to his acceleration, his speed. He catches the ball well. I like his toughness. He’s handled these first three practices well.”

Tags: Brandin Cooks New Orleans Saints NFL Rob Ryan Sean Payton

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