- Saints viewed WR Cooks as must-have...Payton said giving up the third-round pick -- a late third-rounder at that -- was worth it to get a shot at adding Cooks, who ran the fastest time for a wide receiver at the NFL combine at 4.33 seconds, to the mix. "In this case, it filled a need," said Payton. "It was one of the positions we outlined going into the draft, and (Cooks) was also the highest-rated player that we had left." Even though they had parted with Sproles and Moore, it was believed that the Saints might be in the market for a cornerback or defensive end to add depth to a vastly-improved defense that ranked fourth last season under new defensive coordinator Rob Ryan.
But the ability to get a dynamic player like Cooks, the 2013 Biletnikoff Award winner who could replace both Sproles and Moore, turned out to be a priority. "We're excited with our selection," said Payton, who took an offensive player in the first round for only the second time since 2007. "We were able to move up and get a player we valued. "He's a playmaker. He's someone that the one thing about him was that he was a tough player both physically and mentally," Payton said. "He's durable and he obviously runs well, but I like his mental makeup. He's got a lot of intangibles about him -- other than his skill set -- that we liked." - The Sports Xchange