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Oregon State wide receiver Brandin Cooks is 100 percent on this team’s big board; you can believe that.
Between San Francisco’s team need and its proclivity for selecting players of this type, it’d be a shock if they weren’t strongly considering the all-purpose dynamo as a candidate with their first-round selection. It would stray from their M.O. completely if the scouting department just dismissed him.
But so far it does not appear that they have, as Cooks was one of the first players the organization met with in Indianapolis, via Matt Barrows of The Sacramento Bee.
Cooks, a native of Northern California, is projected to the 49ers because of their desire to further weaponize the receiving corps for the future, coupled with the dire need for speed. Right now, the offense has to have a complementary threat that is a constant danger to get loose for the big play.
Not to mention, Cooks is also commonly mocked as a mid-to-late first-rounder, which is right in Baalke’s strike zone. And his stock has since gone up after his showing at the combine.
The 40-time from Indy—officially a 4.33, making him the fastest wide receiver this year—really created a buzz around Cooks. This man will scorch the earth. On top of which, he also threw up a man-sized set of 16 bench reps of 225 pounds in that compact 189-pound frame of his.
All the locals were up in arms over Cooks, fortifying the communal draft crush. Bill Williamson of ESPN made it a point to mention the receiver’s big day, citing his speed, strong hands and route-running ability as selling points for the 49ers. Williamson even advocates a trade up.
Barrows of The Sac Bee continued to pile on the rave reviews, currently buoying the Cooks/49ers pairing on Day 1.
Cooks and Barrows had a one-on-one before the combine, and the 49ers local beat writer came away quite impressed. Barrows also isn’t even sure that the Oregon State speedster will be around at No. 30 overall anymore, which would necessitate a trade up.
CSN Bay Area’s Matt Maiocco also believes Cooks is a fit.
What resonated with Maiocco was how much the 49ers would get by taking him in the first round. Not only is the team plugging in a high-caliber athlete with starting potential but also a particularly dangerous weapon in the slot and a game-breaking threat on the return team.
These are excellent points.
Better yet, Cooks wants to wear the red and gold as well, citing the match between his skill set and San Francisco's coast-to-coast attack:
Coming from a pro-style system at Oregon State ... I feel like that would be an easy transition to be able to go somewhere like a West Coast offense and fit right in and make an impact right away.
As far as the first round goes, few prospects and teams have been linked as regularly as Brandin Cooks and the 49ers. If the team believes he’s the missing element and they have the system that would optimize his talent, then this is a very viable option for the San Francisco front office.