Brandin Cooks: Speed Kills

Oregon State wide receiver Brandin Cooks put on a really good performance at the combine on Sunday. It is safe to say that he ran fast enough to make teams think of him as a first round pick. Cooks also caught the ball well in the various field drills. Speed kills, that’s what a lot of defensive coordinators will say when they go against the player that I gave the name “Dash” to earlier this month.

Brandin Cooks NFL Draft Combine

If you look at the results that Cooks put up at the combine, you will see that he is more than just a small, fast player. His results are as follows: 40 yard dash:

4.33 sec (official) top performer

20 yard shuttle: 3.85 sec top performer

60 yard shuttle: 10.72 sec top performer

3 cone drill: 6.76 sec

vertical jump: 36.0 inches

broad jump: 120 inches

bench press: 16 reps

Those numbers show that Cooks is not only fast, he is also quick and strong. The 16 reps that he posted on the bench was actually short of the goal that he told me he had coming into the combine, however it is better than some of the bigger receivers in the same class. The quickness that Cooks showed in the short shuttle proves why he was such a problem for most corners that he went against. The thing that I like so much about the results that Cooks posted is that it shows up on film. Watch his game against Utah and see how he makes a catch across the middle and runs away from the coverage. Watch how his short area quickness helps him get open in the red zone as you go through his various games. Cooks is literally a nightmare running that slant route. That is because he is so hard to get a hand on.

“You can’t measure heart. I feel like I play bigger than my size. Once we put those pads on and I am on the field, I feel like I can’t be stopped. I am 5-10 but play like I am 6-3. I win at the line consistently. I give corners a hard time because I quick laterally.”

There were no other receivers that ran as fast as Cooks did. He also caught the ball well in the gauntlet drill and throughout his routes. The dynamic play making ability that Cooks brings forces teams to do different things to keep him from burning them. Teams are forced to use bracket coverage because of is ability to tear the top off of defenses. He will demand safety coverage over top. The way that Cooks can generate yards after the catch makes him a serious threat from the slot as well. Defensive backs like to press slot receivers but that may not be the best thing to do against a guy like Cooks. He is so sudden that if the defensive back doesn’t get their hand on him, he will leave them in the dust. Receivers have a saying, “If I am even, I am leaving.” That applies especially to guys like Cooks. The NFL draft is rapidly approaching and Brandin Cooks is getting closer to fulfilling a dream. He surely did a lot to improve his stock. The NFL is obsessed with speed and Cooks showed that he had plenty of it.

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