Yesterday afternoon, I put together a quick post on the players the 49ers had visited with at the East-West Shrine Game and the Senior Bowl. Teams will be meeting with numerous players during the Combine, and we have some news on the 49ers plans. Oregon State wide receiver Brandin Cooks told the media on Friday that he will be visiting with the 49ers Friday evening.
The decision to meet with a player can mean one of several things. The 49ers might have a legitimate interest in Cooks. Or, they might want to get people thinking they're interested to drive up his value. Whatever it might be, Cooks is going high enough in the draft that he'll remain on our radar for the next couple months.
Matt Barrows put together a solid article discussing Cooks' speed and strength. The 2013 Biletnikoff Award winner is looking to run his 40 in the 4.3 range, while also putting up 20+ reps in the bench press. He's a confident guy, and apparently grew up a 49ers fan in Stockton. That's not going to guarantee anything, but it would certainly be cool to bring along a guy with a passion for the franchise.
All the discussions have seen Cooks compared to Steve Smith. Cooks measured in at 5'96 and 189 pounds, which puts him just a little bit bigger than Smith. If Cooks can bring the speed and show the strength, you have to think he climbs draft boards, at least a little bit. And that includes the 49ers board. I think cornerback remains a bigger concern, but even if the 49ers re-sign Anquan Boldin, it would be nice to add someone like Cooks who could potentially blow off the cover with that speed. And that speed and strength could be huge for him if he had to deal with the physical defensive backs in the division.