Brandin Cooks NFL Draft 2014: Highlights, Scouting Report for Saints WR

Ryan McCrystalFeatured ColumnistFebruary 3, 2014

TUCSON, AZ - SEPTEMBER 29:  Wide receiver Brandin Cooks #7 of the Oregon State Beavers runs with the football after a reception during the college football game against the Arizona Wildcats at Arizona Stadium on September 29, 2012 in Tucson, Arizona. The Beavers defeated the Wildcats 38-35.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Brandin Cooks, WR, Oregon State (HT: 5'9¾", WR: 189)

New Orleans (Saints traded 27th and 91st picks to Cardinals for 20th pick)

First Round: 20th pick 

NFL Comparison: Kendall Wright, WR, Tennessee Titans 

Combine Weigh-In
5'10"18930 3/4"9 5/8"
Combine Workout
40-Yd Dash10-Yd SplitVerticalBroad Jump3-ConeShuttle



  • Lacks the ideal measurables but has the athleticism to make up for it and carve out a productive role for himself in the NFL
  • Elite start-and-stop ability which makes him extremely difficult to contain in the open field.
  • Ability to get up to full speed quickly keeps defensive backs on their toes and likely makes them think twice about playing press coverage. 
  • His ability to get over the top of the defense requires the attention of a safety at all times. 
  • Hands are above average. 
  • Does a great job adjusting to poorly placed balls. 
  • Played in a well-balanced passing attack at Oregon State and was asked to run a full complement of routes. 
  • Depth and timing of his routes are consistent, and he seemed to always be on the same page with quarterback Sean Mannion. 
  • An explosive punt returner, who will likely start immediately in this role in the NFL.



  • Overall size and strength raises some questions about long-term durability.
  • He's stayed relatively healthy throughout his college career, but he would improve his ability to stay on the field by adding some weight. 
  • Suffered an ankle injury against Oregon in 2012 and was slowed by a knee injury early in the 2012 season. 
  • Doesn't always make great decisions after the catch. 
  • Needs to avoid running backward and losing yardage after the catch.
  • He's extremely quick with his cuts, but sometimes his movements are exaggerated which will tip off more savvy defensive backs trying to stick with him in man coverage. 
  • Not a threat to come down with the ball in tight coverage. 
  • Struggles to fend off defenders on 50/50 balls. 
Collegiate Statistics
2011Oregon St.3139112.63
2012Oregon St.67115117.25
2013Oregon St.128173013.516


Personal Notes

  • Also ran track at Oregon State and competed in the Junior Olympics in high school. 
  • 2013 Biletnikoff Award winner. 
  • First-team All-Pac 12 and consensus All-American in 2013. 


Ratings Chart

Charted created at



Cooks immediately stands out as one of the fastest receivers in this year's class, but it's more than just his straight-line speed that makes him so dangerous. While many receivers are track-fast, Cooks has the functional speed and agility to make him extremely elusive in the open field. His athleticism also makes him a fluid route-runner, with the potential to improve in this area. Due to the depth in this year's class at receiver, he may fall the second day, but from a pure talent perspective it's difficult to argue that Cooks isn't a first-round talent. 


Draft Projection: 1st Round