Must-read Grantland story on Saints' Cooks

Grantland’s Robert Mays spent some quality time with new New Orleans Saints receiver Brandin Cooks leading up to the draft for this terrific in-depth piece on what makes Cooks tick. It’s a must-read, period. Especially for Saints fans who will soon fall in love with a guy who has been lauded for both his dynamic playmaking ability and his special character.

Cooks opened up about his ambition, his motivation and his difficult upbringing. Cooks’ father died of a heart attack when he was six, which affected he and his three older brothers in different ways. It helped drive Cooks to make the most out of his remarkable athletic gifts.

The piece, which includes interviews with family members and past coaches, also dives into that confident-but-not-cocky attitude that Saints coach Sean Payton mentioned often while describing what New Orleans liked so much about Cooks.

ESPN's New York Jets reporter Rich Cimini also had a good piece on Cooks leading into the draft when he seemed like a prime target for the Jets with the 18th pick.

Payton admitted Thursday night that the Saints thought Cooks might go to New York. But after he slipped past the Jets, the Saints figured they'd get the guy they wanted.