2014 NFL Draft: WR Brandin Cooks Selected by New Orleans Saints

FFLR_draft2014

Brandin Cooks – WR Oregon State, 5’10”, 189 LBS, 30.75″ Arm Length

Drafted Round 1, Pick 20 , New Orleans Saints

Combine Results: 4.33 Forty | 36.0″ Vertical Jump | 120″ Broad Jump

  • Competed in the Junior Olympics as a sprinter.
  • Biletnikoff Award winner as nation’s top receiver in 2013 when he set PAC-12 single-season records with 128 receptions and 1,730 receiving yards.

NFL Impact: Cooks is a speedster who runs tight routes and is very quick out of his breaks. His outstanding burst allows him to adjust quickly to balls in the air and he displays excellent body control and balance. He has the ability to turn a short throw into a long gain with his separation skills. Has worked very hard to fine tune his footwork to set up his routes and leave defenders turning the wrong way. For such a short receiver, he’s not afraid to go over the middle or make catches in traffic. Extremely productive with 195 receptions for 2,881 yards and 21 TDs his final two seasons.

The weaknesses for Cooks start with his size. He has below average height and weight for a receiver. While almost the same height as Odell Beckham Jr.his arms are two inches shorter which greater reduces his catch radius. His small size causes him to struggle with big, physical defenders which could present a problem when faced with man coverage. Isn’t going to run over defenders or achieve much yardage after contact. He profiles similar to Tavon Austin of the St. Louis Rams though he is a bit bigger but slightly slower version.

Unfortunately Cooks isn’t going to get taller, longer arms or larger hands so he’ll be forced to make do with the tools he’s been given. He has the quickness to play in the slot but you have to wonder if he can withstand the punishment at his size. Not everyone has the toughness of a Wes Welker. While he played special teams he wasn’t an impactful punt returner so he likely doesn’t bring a great deal of versatility to an NFL franchise. These factors might explain why such a productive receiver was projected as far back as he was at his position. He was able to shine after fellow Beaver receiver Markus Wheaton left for the NFL so that’s at least a positive sign for his ability at the next level given the right system and situation.

Fantasy Impact: We saw what Tavon Austin did as a rookie and he was a much more heralded and a higher draft choice than Cooks. That being said, Austin wasn’t drafted to a team with a quarterback that has thrown for 5,000 yards 4 times in his career. The Saints have a lot of what many would call no-name receivers on the roster and Drew Brees usually isn’t shy about spreading the ball around. Rookie receivers often fail to live up to the hype and smaller receivers especially have trouble adapting to the huge step up in physicality of the NFL game. Even a physical specimen like Calvin Johnson only caught 48 balls for 756 yards and 4 scores.

Playing for the Saints, Cooks will be called on to play in the slot with Colston and perhaps even Jimmy Graham lining up out wide. Brees has a quick release and Cooks’ 4.33 speed will play well on the carpet in New Orleans. He wasn’t the first receiver drafted but it’s entirely possible he’ll have the best rookie season simply based on what real estate agents love, location, location, location.

 

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