While Saints QB Drew Brees was quick to note again that “I don’t think you just replace a Darren Sproles,” he gave a nod to the top four backs on the depth chart – then brought up the Saints’ top draft pick, speedy receiver Brandin Cooks, who could be earmarked for big things as a rookie.
“Even though Darren Sproles played the running back position, we were creative with him,” Brees told USA TODAY Sports. “We did a lot of things with him out of the backfield. We’d split him out. We’d throw him screens. We’d do all kinds of stuff with him. So, that role can be filled by maybe even a receiver.
“Hey, we go out in the draft and get a guy in Brandin Cooks out of Oregon State – an explosive player, great speed, great talent, tremendous young man, loves to learn, loves the game of football. … From all indications, this guy can do a lot of things for us, and he’s eager to fill a role that we need him to on offense.”
The Saints spread the ball around, but not only do they have to replace the departed Lance Moore, the team has to also replace the production of Darren Sproles in the receiving game. The two combined for 143 targets in 2013, so while we're expecting Kenny Stills to see a larger role, there are targets for the speedy Cooks as well.