Brandin Cooks: Rookie wall is a ‘very real thing’

It can hit first-year players when they least expect, and stop progress in its tracks. It can’t be measured in dimensions nor can its tangibility be proven.

This phenomenon is commonly known throughout the NFL as the dreaded rookie wall. And, as Brandin Cooks can now attest, it does, in fact, exist.

Appearing on the Rich Eisen Show on Tuesday, the Saints’ jitterbug receiver said he hit the wall — a “very real thing” — in Week 10 of last season.

You wouldn’t know it based on his stats. That week, Cooks torched the 49ers, hauling in five receptions for 90 yards and a touchdown in a losing effort. It was a strong outing from Cooks, who many thought would be in the running for Offensive Rookie of the Year.

Until he was hit with something else — the injury bug.

Cooks suffered a broken thumb the following week, an injury that forced him to injured reserve, ending his rookie campaign. Cooks finished with 53 receptions for 550 yards and three touchdowns, serving as a multipurpose weapon for the Saints.

In 2015, Cooks won’t have to worry about the rookie wall. That’s the good news. The bad news? Two words: sophomore slump.

From one phenomenon to another.

(Photo credit: L.G. Patterson/Associated Press)

Zack Kelberman
An award-winning sportswriter, reporter and blogger, Zack currently serves as the Miami Dolphins live correspondent and Team Stream curator for Bleacher Report. He's also a freelance NFL writer and the founder/editor-in-chief of Helmet2Helmet. His work has appeared on media outlets such as ESPN, Sports Illustrated, FOX Sports, MSN.com, FanSided.com, and About.com. Zack can be reached on Twitter (@ZackKelberman) or via email (zpkelb@gmail.com).