Brandin Cooks NFL Draft 2014: Scouting Report Breakdown for Saints WR

Ryan McCrystal@@ryan_mccrystalFeatured ColumnistMay 5, 2014

Oct 27, 2012; Seattle, WA, USA; Oregon State Beavers wide receiver Brandin Cooks (7) catches a 54-yard touchdown pass against the Washington Huskies during the third quarter at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

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

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

First Round: 20th pick  

NFL Comparison: Kendall Wright, WR, Tennessee Titans




Overall Strengths

+ Extremely elusive in the open field. 

+ Has the speed to get over the top of the defense. 

+ Demonstrates great body control when adjusting to poorly placed balls. 

+ Explosive punt returner. 


Overall Weaknesses

- Lacks ideal height and overall size. 

- Struggles to win the battle for 50/50 balls.

- Makes poor decisions after the catch. 

- Size and injury history raise durability concerns. 

Combine Weigh-In
509618930 3/4"9 5/8"
Combine Workout
40-Yard Dash10-Yd SplitVerticalBroad Jump3-ConeShuttle


After the Catch

Cooks is electric after the catch and is capable of taking it the distance whenever he touches the ball. His change-of-direction ability ranks among the top receivers in this class, and his acceleration from a dead stop allows him to break free from any situation. 

However, he's also prone to trying too hard to make the big play. Cooks needs to learn that sometimes it's OK to take what the defense gives him. 


50/50 Balls 

Cooks lacks the elite leaping ability to make up for his short stature, which hinders his ability to make the contested catches. To make matters worse, he gives an inconsistent effort adjusting to the ball and putting himself in the best position to make the play.

Even a receiver with his size can use his body to shield defenders if he reacts to the ball and attacks it in the air, rather than being passive and letting the ball come to him. 



Oregon State was creative in how it used Cooks, lining him up all over the field. He has plenty of experience working both from the slot and out wide. 

He was also in motion on a number of plays for Oregon State and usually took the handoff on at least one end-around per game. 


Route Running 

Cooks was primarily used on underneath routes or deep routes, with relatively few intermediate routes mixed in. This is a minor knock on his scouting report, but given his speed and size, he'll likely be used in similar fashion at the next level. 

A receiver with his skill set is most valuable when he can be fed the ball quickly on screens and slants or used as a pure deep threat. 



Considering the fact that he has short arms and small hands, Cooks is fairly reliable in terms of extending and catching the ball away from his body when possible. 

The only knock against his ability to catch the ball is a lack of focus. He's so dangerous after the catch that sometimes he takes his eye off the ball a second too soon in an effort to survey the field around him. 



Coaches can't expect much from a receiver with Cooks' size, but even with lowered expectations, he is disappointing. When he gives any effort at all, he often goes to the chop block and whiffs far too often. 


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