According to the man himself, Brandin Cooks has a workout or visit scheduled with the Seattle Seahawks.
It certainly looks like more than a passing interest. Kippy Brown attended his pro day and spent some time chatting with Cooks (see above). I think most people would say it’d be an upset if he lasted until #32, but you never know.
One other angle worth considering is scouting-in-advance. New England are bringing Teddy Bridgewater and Johnny Manziel to their facility. They might be looking at potential replacements for Tom Brady (who turns 37 in August), but they’ve also been known to use these sessions to get a good look at a player they might be competing against in the future.
Several NFC foes pick in the 20’s — Arizona (#20), Philadelphia (#22), New Orleans (#27), Carolina (#28) and San Francisco (#30). You could make a case for all drafting Cooks if he’s available in their slot.
Are the Seahawks planning ahead? Maybe.
Yet at the same time they might have genuine interest themselves. Not everything has to be kept under wraps — it was common knowledge they went bowling with Russell Okung before the 2010 draft.
I mean, would anyone in the NFL be shocked that Seattle might take Brandin Cooks at #32? Most would be more shocked if he was actually available there in the first place.
I spent a bit of time looking through Oregon State tape tonight, sifting through Cooks vs Washington, Stanford, Boise State, Hawaii, Colorado and Utah.
The first thing that really stands out is he can fly. He’s a shade under 5-10 and just 189lbs — but he kind of looks bigger on tape. And he can move. The 4.33 speed at the combine wasn’t a fluke. He’s a naturally talented sprinter who moves up through the gears quickly.
His best quality without a doubt is YAC. Oregon State used a ton of fly sweeps, quick hitters, bubble screens, receiver screens, slants and reverses to get the ball in his hands.
There’s not too much evidence he can be a sideline hugging, ‘win the redline’ type. In fact after watching the first five games today — I counted just one contested 50/50 pass against Hawaii. It doesn’t mean he can’t do it. He was rarely asked.
Then I watched the Colorado game and he high pointed two downfield shots and caught both. He also spent more time as a conventional wide out and made several catches in traffic. So the potential is there.
I think the Beavers just wanted to get him in space — and rightly so. He’s not going to win too many deep shots at 5-9. Golden Tate was a rare smaller receiver who high pointed the football incredibly well. Odell Beckham Jr is another player who competes well for his size. But they aren’t common.
Cooks had a ton of success running underneath, getting a quick pass and just exploding into the second level. He’s shifty, he’s tough to bring down and he eats up yards.
He’s incredibly adept at exploiting zone coverage. He’ll settle down into space — he really knows how to sell a route. On one touchdown he made three deliberate changes of direction in the corner of the end zone. Even in such a tight spot he had the corner tripping over his feet. He got open and made an easy score.
On another deep route he nailed a double move to find space in behind a corner and just in front of the safety. If the key talent any receiver needs is the ability to get open, Cooks ticks that particular box.
‘Elusive’ is a good way to describe him. Any team that drafts him needs to be creative. He’s very similar to Tavon Austin. St. Louis tried to fit Austin into a structured offense and wasted a year of his explosive potential. Whoever gets Cooks needs to appreciate what he’s best at — he needs plays in the playbook designed solely to get him the ball.
Get him in space and let him make things happen. He’s got a great spin move, he has that ‘gliding’ effect as a runner, he changes direction effortlessly. He’ll be a YAC monster at the next level in the right offense and he’s tough to bring down.
The one game that concerned me a little was the Washington tape. Marcus Peters had him for lunch by being physical and refusing to let him get into a rhythm. Peters was sensational on the day. Cooks didn’t come up against many cornerbacks like that — but he will at the next level. If he’s going to be more than a slant, sweep and reverse guy — he’ll need to be ready for the physical corners in the NFL.
He returned some punts but didn’t have a huge impact. I suspect he can improve here because of the elusiveness he showed in open play. But right now it’s not a strength.
He doesn’t drop easy passes but there are occasions when he lets the ball slip through his hands. It’s not a major concern.
One final note — I’ve not listed it here, but I remember the Oregon vs Oregon State game from 2013 vividly. The Ducks put three men on Cooks — they triple covered him. It’s not often you see that. They sold out the entire defense to cover Cooks. And he still had 110 yards in the game.
You can never have enough of these players on your roster and I think the Seahawks would consider putting Cooks and Percy Harvin on the same field and saying, “Good luck defending that.” They could test him out on punts, work him in the slot and over time try to develop him into a more rounded threat out wide.
If he lasts until #32 — which, again, seems unlikely — he’d be one of the best players left on the board and the value might be too good to pass.
But’s it’s a major stretch to imagine he’d get past Carolina at #28 or San Francisco at #30. Almost impossible I’d say.
And if they are scouting Cooks in advance — maybe we should expect the 49ers to make a move up the board in round one to get him?