Brandin Cooks is one of those wide receiver prospects in the 2014 NFL Draft class who sort of sneaks up on your radar when it comes to evaluating (and ranking) this draft's prospects. Perhaps it's due to his diminutive stature, standing at only 5-foot-9, 189 pounds.
However, the 2013 Biletnikoff Award winner (given to the nation's best wide receiver) had some eye-popping numbers, totaling 128 receptions for 1,730 yards and 16 touchdowns for Oregon State.
- Blazing speed. Right behind Dri Archer for the fastest 40-yard dash at the Combine at 4.31.
- Terrific tracking the ball and making adjustments at the catch point and during his route. Awareness is great.
- Very difficult to jam at the line of scrimmage because his acceleration is fantastic.
- Sinks his hips and can burst out of cuts with ease. Strong route runner, even if he's behind guys like Marqise Lee, Paul Richardson, and Jared Abbrederis in that regard.
- Fiery and competitive demeanor. Isn't afraid to jaw on the field with defensive backs. Team captain.
- Obviously, his size has to be looked at as a negative.
- Catch radius is small. Average for his size, but he can't climb the ladder and win a lot of contested balls.
- Ineffective blocker.
Does He Fit With The Giants?
Yes. In this new scheme, I'd have to imagine that speed is at a premium. Having fast players like Cruz and Jernigan out there and combined with Cooks would give the Giants mismatches all over the field. Would Eli Manning like a bigger target? Sure. But imagine Brandin Cooks getting a quick, short pass on a curl or in route and watch him go. He creates separation before the catch, and after too.
Brandin Cooks vs Hawaii and Utah 2013 (via JmpasqDraftjedi)
Big Board Rankings
Big Blue View - 31
Mocking The Draft - 44
CBS Sports - 27
Draft Countdown - 38
Draft Tek - 33
Brandin Cooks is one of those players that I think falls right in between where the Giants pick in Round 1 and Round 2. I think he's a fantastic athletic specimen that definitely has the requisite skill set to succeed in the league. Who doesn't like speed? Despite his small frame, guys like Tavon Austin and Kendall Wright can still get drafted high.
If he turns out anything like Steve Smith (who he's been frequently compared to), the team who drafts him gets a steal at any point. I personally like bigger wide receivers, so I'm more likely to pass on him, but I definitely think he could be successful in the Giants' scheme and be a weapon the same way DeSean Jackson is a weapon for the Eagles.