The Patriots already boasted one of the most prolific offenses in football before acquiring the dangerous Brandin Cooks in a trade with New Orleans. With the playmaking speedster on board, some are envisioning an even more devastating attack.
While that is probably true it is interesting to consider exactly how that might come to – especially with regard to the passing game. With Tom Brady at the helm the Patriots have consistently featured a highly-efficient attack that spreads the ball around, but usually featuring the slot man as the top target.
Julian Edelman has filled that role in recent seasons, but will that remain the case with Cooks in the picture? That's where we're headed for this week's Samsonite Make Your Case question. Who will lead the Patriots in receptions in 2017?
PFW's Andy Hart says ...
I know Julian Edelman has been great as Tom Brady's top target over the years but he is not the same type of game-breaker that Cooks is. It won't take long for Brady to figure this out, and Cooks will get plenty of opportunities to show his stuff.
Even Robert Kraft said Cooks was reminiscent of Randy Moss, and if that's even close to true then the Patriots offense could be near unstoppable. Cooks can take short passes and make big plays, and he's effective down the field as well. Once he and Brady develop some chemistry, the sky's the limit.
Instead of having one guy catch 100 balls like Edelman has been forced to do in the past, the Patriots can lighten his load and lean on the new guy to be the top priority. Cooks will be a perfect fit in this offense and lead the team in receptions.
PFW's Paul Perillo says ...
If all of these guys are healthy this is going to be one scary group of receivers. Brady is going to have no trouble at all finding the open guy, and few Patriots have done a better job of consistently getting open than Edelman.
Brady always looks to his buddy when he needs a play and that won't change with the addition of Cooks. As long as Edelman remains healthy he will remain Brady's focus, especially on third downs near the first down sticks like we've seen so many times.
Edelman is tough and dependable, and even if Cooks emerges in a similar fashion it will take some time for him to earn Brady's trust. Edelman won't need that time and he'll remain at the top of the receptions list for the Patriots in 2017.
Now it's your turn to cast a vote in this week's Samsonite Make Your Case poll question.