With another first-round pick in their arsenal, the Patriots will certainly be a team to watch leading up to the draft, as they could go in multiple directions.
His receiving yards were second only to tight end Rob Gronkowski, who finished the season with 69 receptions for 1,084 yards and eight TDs. If Gronkowski is traded, which seems far less likely now that Cooks is gone, the supporting cast on offense could begin to look decidedly lacking.
The Giants reportedly want two first-round picks but might consider a first-round pick and a second- or third-round pick for Beckham, but that is nothing close to what the Patriots received for Cooks.
Cooks caught 65 passes for 1,082 yards and seven touchdowns last season in his lone campaign with the Patriots.
Though Watkins had only 39 catches a year ago, the August trade with Buffalo didn't land him with the Rams until training camp was done.
But that would be hard if the Patriots' intent is to trade up in the first round to land one of the coveted quarterbacks in a draft class filled with highly celebrated prospects at the sport's most important position.
After spending the first three years of his career with the New Orleans Saints, Cooks was traded to New England last offseason in a deal that netted New Orleans a first-round pick. The Patriots aren't scared of personalities; Lord knows they had plenty of success with Randy Moss back in 2007.
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Here's why the Patriots, despite reports to the contrary, could fit in the mix of Beckham suitors. New England is giving a fourth-round choice to the Rams.
This offseason, it has been no secret that the Rams were looking to add a wide receiver.
But even though they didn't get Beckham, the Rams should be pleased with landing Cooks.
With the draft picks acquired in Tuesday's deal, New England now holds four picks in the first two rounds later this month and four more picks in Rounds 3-7. He can snag a new left tackle, another wide receiver, and most importantly, a quarterback for the future.
- They don't have as much insurance at wide receiver - yet.
Depreciated asset: Remember when the Patriots traded for Randy Moss after he fell out of favor in Oakland? For now, they don't have that insurance heading into the 2018 season. Expected bounce-back seasons from receivers Julian Edelman and Malcolm Mitchell, who both missed last season, may be part of Belichick's thinking, too.
There's a chance they could add another veteran to take Cooks' spot on the roster (Jordan Matthews was in Foxboro for a visit earlier this week), but they could just as easily add that body via the draft.