We continue to scout potential New York Jets draft picks today with Oregon State star receiver Brandin Cooks. Cooks is one of the players in the second tier of receivers that the Jets could be looking at with the No. 18 pick, would is become a more likely scenrio considering the stock of each of the top three receivers appears to be on the rise.
Cooks was absurdly productive in his junior year with the Beavers, catching 128 passes for 1,730 yards and 16 touchdowns. Cooks won the Biletnikoff Award for his efforts, and he was named a 1st team All-American. Cooks’ production rose in each of his three seasons at Oregon State, though obviously one must take the Beavers’ pass heavy system into account before being too awed by his big numbers as a junior.
What is impressive about Cooks is that he was able to have such a big impact despite often being the focal point of the defense. Cooks is on the smaller side at 5’10″, 185 lbs, but he makes up for it with his quickness and speed. Cooks should run one of the best 40 times at the combine, which will definitely help make up for concerns about his size. Cooks is a top notch route runner, perhaps second only to Marqise Lee in this draft class, and he is explosive after the catch.
Cooks has good hands, but not elite, though there is no reason to be concerned. However, like Odell Beckham yesterday, the concern here is that Cooks doesn’t fit well with the Jets. They need a true No. 1 receiver, and Cooks could very well end up as a slot receiver at the NFL level. Slot receivers can be incredible weapons, but the Jets already have a solid one in Jeremy Kerley, and they need a true top target.
If the Jets miss out on Lee, Sammy Watkins and Mike Evans, they are going to need to go to a backup plan at receiver. However, I think they are going to be more interested in Davante Adams or Jordan Matthews than Cooks in that scenario, as each of those players is a more traditional No. 1 receiver prospect. However, if the Jets sign either Eric Decker or Hakeem Nicks in free agency, Cooks would be a perfect compliment to the bigger receivers. Unless that is the case, however, I think the Jets will look in a different direction in the first round.