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Brandin Cooks: Combine Results and Instant Reaction

USA Today
Dan HopeContributor IIIFebruary 23, 2014

There was no shortage of fast times when wide receivers ran the 40-yard dash at the 2014 NFL Scouting Combine Sunday morning, but no one was faster than Oregon State's Brandin Cooks, who paced the field with a 4.33-second run.

“Speed kills and I feel like that’s what I’m going to bring to the game,” Cooks told reporters on Saturday, according to Darin Gantt of Pro Football Talk

With a group of wide receivers who could potentially be first- or second-round selections, Sunday's combine workouts presented an opportunity for the best among them to stand out.

Cooks certainly took advantage.

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While the emphasis on 40-yard dash times is often criticized because it is not always an accurate indicator of game speed, Cooks always played fast at Oregon State.

Brandin Cooks 2014 Combine Results
HeightWeightBench Press40-Yard Dash10-Yard Split*Vert
5'10"18916 reps4.331.5036
*Unofficial Result

He will consistently be referred to as the 2014 draft's fastest wide receiver from here on out, but there's far more to his game than just speed.

Cooks' ability to make defenders miss in space with his lateral agility stood out even more at Oregon State than his downfield speed did, so he should also put up terrific times later Sunday in the 3-cone drill, 20-yard shuttle and 60-yard shuttle.

Not everyone expected Cooks to run as fast as he did Sunday morning. NFL.com's Nolan Nawrocki wrote that he "lacks elite, blazing speed" in his pre-combine scouting report of the Oregon State wideout.

But his 40 time disproves that, and he's not just a combine stud; he played fast during his collegiate career as well. As Bleacher Report's Jeff Risdon explained, he is more than just a great athlete:

Equally as important as the impressive numbers Cooks put up was his strong performance running routes and catching passes in the on-field drills Sunday.

Cooks made himself money with his fast 40 time, and that might not only be because of the boost to his draft stock. If his mark holds up as the fastest among all combine participants who wear Adidas cleats, he will be awarded $100,000, according to Allan Brettman of OregonLive.com.

Despite being a smaller receiver, Cooks has enough physicality and attacks the ball in the air well enough to play both outside and in the slot. After his exceptional time Sunday, he just might end up being a first-round pick.

Former Bleacher Report writer Chris Kouffman compared him to last year's No. 8 overall selection, Tavon Austin:

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