New England Patriots: Can Brandin Cooks be Brady’s new Moss?

FOXBORO, MA - AUGUST 10: Brandin Cooks
FOXBORO, MA - AUGUST 10: Brandin Cooks /

New England Patriots fans are already comparing to Brandin Cooks to Randy Moss, but can he really reach that level with Tom Brady?

2007 was a special year for the New England Patriots, even though it didn’t all end how we hoped it would. Surely, Tom Brady would give back all of those records the team set for that Super Bowl win.

Now, 10 seasons later, many think newcomer Brandin Cooks can be Brady’s next Randy Moss. The 2007 Patriots team was dominant on offense, and it wasn’t just Randy Moss leading the way. Wes Welker actually had more receptions (112) than Moss, but things fell off after that. The next three leading receivers were RB Kevin Faulk (47), Donte’ Stallworth (46), and Jabar Gaffney (36).

Tom Brady has improved at spreading the ball over the last 10 years. While Brady’s top 2 receivers combined for 210 receptions in 2007, last season they combined for 158. More balls were going to more guys on the offense. Edelman was at the top with 98 receptions, followed by James White (60), Martellus Bennett (55), Chris Hogan (38) and Malcolm Mitchell (32).

Now, Rob Gronkowski is also back and healthy for Brady. In addition to Cooks, the Patriots also added a ton of help in the backfield with Mike Gillislee and Rex Burkhead. New TE Dwayne Allen should see his fair share of targets as well. Simply put, I don’t think Brandin Cooks will get the ball enough to put up Randy Moss-like numbers. Just look at how ridiculous both Brady and Moss’s numbers were in that 2007 season.

Randy Moss, 2007: 98 receptions, 1,493 yards, 23 touchdowns

Tom Brady, 2007: 4,806 yards, 50 touchdowns, 8 interceptions

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FOXBORO, MA – JANUARY 10: Dominique Foxworth /

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I honestly find it more likely that Brady puts up those same type of numbers this season than Cooks putting up Moss numbers. I believe the Patriots offense has evolved and there are too many weapons that will demand some time with the ball in their hands.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Brandin Cooks and I think he’s going to succeed in a Patriots uniform, but he’s not the only weapon on this team. That should actually help him even more though. Teams won’t be able to double team both Cooks and Rob Gronkowski, so one of the two is likely to be considered open on each play. In 2017, I’m expecting about 85 receptions, 1,300 yards, and 14 touchdowns for Cooks. You can see that there is potential there for Moss numbers if he gets the ball more. If Tom Brady wants to drop back and ensure Cooks gets over 100 receptions, then sure, he could go for 20 scores and over 1,500 yards, but I just don’t see it happening.

Next: Patriots opening night weather report

The New England Patriots will open the 2017 season on Thursday night against the Kansas City Chiefs, one of the top defenses in the NFL. Fans should be there early, and viewers should tune in early, as the Super Bowl LI banner unveiling and ceremony will take place at 8 PM.