Despite the recent extension of veteran wideout Anquan Boldin the 49ers will likely be a prime contender for one of the top five receivers in the 2014 draft. Today we take a look at speedster Brandin Cooks.
School: Oregon State
Position: Wide Receiver
Arm Length: 30 ¾"
Hands: 9 5/8"
Vertical Jump: 36"
Broad Jump: 120"
3-cone drill: 6.76
- Speed, speed, speed. Posted fastest forty time of all receivers at the combine
- Instant spark on special teams
- Not just a slot guy (although that may be where he has his biggest impact)
- Quickness in and out of breaks
- Runs a complete route tree
- Sometimes try to do too much (runs backwards or reverses field)
- May have trouble catching the ball in traffic
- Won't win a ton of 50/50 balls
Doing your homework:
Check out the tape against Stanford below. You can also check out seven more cutups at DraftBreakdown.com.
Why he fits the 49ers:
Cooks would give the 49ers receiving core speed they haven't had in years. (No, I didn't forget about Ted Ginn...) The 2013 Biletnikoff Winner may be small but he's a mismatch nightmare for opposing defenses. His speed allows him to get on top of defenders instantly and his quickness in and out of breaks provides ability to create separation.
Cooks would likely begin his career in the slot but over time he's technically sound enough to make an impact on the outside. He'll also provide an immediate impact on special teams returning both kicks and punts.
Why he might not fit the 49ers:
The 49ers don't run a lot of three wide receiver sets and a full season of Michael Crabtree with Boldin may prevent him from seeing a ton of playing time. He's also not a true threat in the red zone, something the 49ers are in desperate need of. Considering these elements, it may be hard for Cooks to make a big impact right away aside from on special teams.
Another possible reason to pass on Cooks would be Greg Roman. We know Roman is incredibly creative in the run game. The passing game, on the other hand, can sometimes leave you wanting more. The absence of a screen or short passing game to utilize LaMichael James (a player with a similar skill set to Cooks) could cause concern when thinking about how Roman would use Cooks.
What they're saying:
- Dane Brugler of CBSSports.com compared Cooks to last year first round pick Tavon Austin: "Cooks is a slightly bigger, not as fast version of Austin due to explosive feet, open-field moves and natural athleticism that makes him a home-run threat whenever he touches the ball."
- SB Nation's Dan Kadar has Cooks going 23rd overall to the Chiefs in his latest mock draft.
- Check out Cooks stats at cfbstats.com
The future at the receiver position is a bit murky. There is no guarantee Crabtree will be resigned and Boldin has at most two years left. The 49ers did draft Quinton Patton last year in the fourth round and have high hopes for him. Still, it's not crazy to think the 49ers could target two receivers in the 2014 draft. Cooks figures to be a first round pick come May and is squarely on the radar. The 49ers have already expressed interest when they met with Cooks at the combine.
He's not the big, physical, imposing receiver most of us have desired but Cooks can take the top off a defense. He would provide the kind of instant deep threat that quarterback Colin Kaepernick and the 49ers offense so desperately needs.