As we continue with our draft preparation here at acme Packing Company, we decided to break down one of the top wide receivers in this year's class: Oregon State's Brandon Cooks.
Cooks was a highly productive wideout in college, especially in his Junior year in 2013. Cooks was a big-play threat in 2012, averaging over 17 yards per reception, but he showed a more complete all-around game last season, recording a staggering 128 receptions for 1,730 yards (13.5 yards per catch) and 16 touchdowns. Cooks also contributed on reverses and jet sweeps, and ran the ball 32 times for 217 yards (6.8 yards per carry) and a pair of scores.
That's a lot of yardage. Does Cooks do anything else?
He has also contributed on punt and kickoff returns in his college career, and has been a Randall Cobb-esque all-purpose weapon for the Beavers over the past few years.
What are his measureables?
Cooks' size lends itself to the Randall Cobb comparison as well. He measured in at 5' 9-3/4" and 189 pounds. That's a half-inch shorter and two pounds lighter than Cobb, who was 5' 10-1/4", 191. The edge in top speed definitely goes to Cooks though - he ran the fastest 40-yard dash of any wide receiver at the Scouting Combine in 2014 and the second-fastest over all at 4.33 seconds (only running back Dri Archer of Kent State was faster at 4.26 seconds).
Cooks' agility drills also were excellent -- he had the fastest 20- and 60-yard shuttle runs at the Combine and ran a very solid 6.76-second 3-cone drill as well.
Wow. That's impressive. He sounds like he would make a great slot receiver.
You're exactly right. However, Cooks has extensive experience playing on the outside, and he believes that he can make the transition to that role in the NFL. Perhaps a better physical comparison than Cobb would be DeSean Jackson, who measured in lighter but at the same height as Cooks, and had an almost identical 40 time (4.35 seconds). With the Eagles, Jackson lined up primarily on the outside, so if you combine Cooks with an accurate quarterback that will be an option as well.
Get me to the highlights!
Notice in the middle part of the highlight reel, you can see Cooks' route-running ability being shown off. He is crisp in and out of his breaks, which will likely be a critical factor in his transition to the NFL.
So pretty much the only knock on him is his size then?
That's the biggest one, yes. Some scouts have mentioned issues with his hands, with the comment that he turns upfield before he looks the ball all the way in.
Still, if he stood 6 feet tall, he would likely be looked at as a top-15 pick. Cooks has the ability and production to go in the back half of the first round, though. He's a better, more complete prospect coming out of college than DeSean Jackson was, and Jackson was chosen with the 49th pick; I fully expect Cooks to go in the top 25, and he very well could be off the board already by the time the Packers pick at #21.