BY RYAN MILLER
Brandin Cooks may not be a household name, not yet. But come draft time he should be. The 5’10, 186-pound receiver from Oregon State is a speedster and should remind you of a top 10 pick from last year, Tavon Austin. So what makes Cooks such a special talent?
Cooks has the ability to cut on a dime and give you change every time. On this punt return, is appears that the two Stanford tacklers have Cooks pinned against the sideline. They are both breaking down to make the tackle and Cooks has very little room to run. However those would-be tacklers are left grabbing at the air as Cooks uses the two yards or so he has to work with to escape.
No One-Trick Pony
Cooks dosen’t need designed plays to get open. You can put him on the outside and he will beat defenders 1-1. Here he is lined up 1-on-1 against Stanford. He gets a free release at the line, then gets open on a post-corner route.
Willing to Take the Hit
Cooks lacks size, but plays big. On this particular route, Cooks runs an underneath slant route. He beats his defender but knows a safety is coming. This doesn’t faze Cooks, however, as he goes up to make the grab then takes a big hit.
Cooks shows some fantastic hands. What’s even more impressive is his ability to attack the ball in the air despite his stature. Here he wins a jump ball with two defenders. And yes, Cooks is only 5’10. Look at the vertical he displays.
Not shown here is Cooks’ vertical speed/quickness. The guy can take the top off any defense, and I expect him to run in the low 4.3s come the combine. I feel that Cooks is a tremendous talent, and come draft time, don’t be surprised to hear his name called early.