The New Orleans Saints traded with the Arizona Cardinals for the 20th pick and select Oregon State WR Brandin Cooks!
Wide Receiver/Return Specialist Oregon State University Beavers #7
Lincoln High School
When Southern California's Marqise Lee shattered the Pac-12 Conference's reception and receiving yardage season records in 2012 with 118 catches for 1,728 yards, many thought they would last for quite a few years before someone would come along and rewrite them. By the time the 2013 season concluded, Lee's numbers went down one spot, taken over by Brandin Cooks' 128 receptions for 1,730 yards.
Teams looking for a slot receiver in the National Football League regard Cooks as a fearless athlete who steps on the field and takes on a Steve Smith-like (former Carolina Panther) personality – do whatever it takes to get to the ball and big plays will follow. Not only is Cook an accomplished flanker with the strength to defeat the jam, but he has also utilized his fantastic initial burst to excel carrying the ball out of the backfield, averaging 5.57 yards toting the pigskin as a ball carrier.
Based on his outstanding performance at the 2014 NFL Scouting Combine, none of the big boys could match up to the Stockton, California native. Cooks' 10-yard dash timing (1.54) was one of the fastest at the 2014 event. His 4.33-second clocking in the 40-yard dash was the second-fastest of all the 335-plus players in attendance. Among those that participated at the Combines over the last decade, that figure checks in as the 16th-best.
Cooks also ranked with the best at his position with a 36-inch vertical jump and a 10'-0" broad jump. He was timed at 3.81 seconds in the 20-yard shuttle. That figure was not only the best of all players at the 2014 testing, but only cornerback Jason Allen-Tennessee was able to match that figure during the last 10 years (2006). Cooks also led all players in the last decade with a 60-yard shuttle timing of 10.72 seconds and placed 10th among all wide receivers since 2005 with a 6.76- second performance in the three-cone testing.
On the gridiron, Cooks also established himself as one of the truly elite athletes, not only in the Pac-12 Conference, but in all of college football. Among active NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision players, he ranks fifth with 3,272 receiving yards and an average of 86.11 yards per game. He also placed seventh by averaging 5.95 receptions per game. He led the nation as a junior with 133.08 receiving yards and finished second while leading the league with an average of 9.85 receptions per game, which is tied for 15th on the NCAA season-record chart.
Cooks closed out his career by recording 13 100-yard receiving performances in 29 games as a starter. His 226 receptions placed second on the school record list and rank 10th in Pac-12 Conference annals. He ranks third in OSU history with 3,272 receiving yards, eighth best on the conference chart. His 24 touchdown catches established a Beavers career-record and his 3,863 all-purpose yards rank ninth in school annals.
Oregon State quarterback Sean Mannion and Cooks connected for 16 touchdowns in 2013 and 23 times during their careers, making them the Beavers' most prolific quarterback-receiver tandem. Cooks went on to win the Biletnikoff Award, given to the top receiver in the country.
Simply put, Cooks possesses all the tools that you'd want in a wide receiver – speed, quickness, smarts, strength, sure hands, work ethic and most of all, drive. Put all that together and you get what Boise State sophomore cornerback Donte Deayon, Cooks' coverage assignment at the 2013 Hawaii Bowl, saw on video before the Beaver beat the Bronco for a touchdown on eight receptions in the game. "He's at a different speed than everybody else on the field," Deayon said.
Cooks won the Biletnikoff Award as the nation's top wide receiver, becoming the second player in school history to capture that prestigious honor (Mike Hass won it in 2005). He had the school and conference record-breaking numbers to back it up. In addition to those records, he caught at least nine passes in ten of the Beavers' 2013 games. He gained 100 yards eight times. And he scored multiple touchdowns in five of his first six contests.
After his sensational 2013 campaign, even his coaches felt that Cooks had little left to accomplish. His goal that season was to make 92 catches for 1,300 yards. He hit those marks in the first 10 games.
It was only four years ago that Cooks was living up to his billing as a four-star prospect by Rivals.com, as that recruiting service regarded him as the 26th-best receiver in the nation and ranked him 28th on their California Top 100 list. He earned Offensive Player of the Year in the Section, All-Area and team MVP two years each. He had 29 receptions for 600 yards and seven touchdowns as a sophomore. The following season, he made 46 catches for 783 yards and 10 touchdowns as a flanker, and on defense, he had three interceptions.
During his final campaign, Cooks registered 66 receptions for 1,125 yards and 11 touchdowns, as he ended up with 1,525 all purpose yards. He was also a standout sprinter in track, participating in the Junior Olympics. He closed out his prep career earning six total letters – three in football, two in track and one in basketball. He competed in the National Underclassmen Combine's All World Gridiron Classic December 31st, 2010 in Orlando and at the 2010 Nike Combine at Stanford, he earned MVP recognition.
Cooks appeared in 12 games for Oregon State in 2011, becoming the first true freshman since 1996 to start for the Beavers in a season opener. He recorded 31 catches for 391 yards (12.61 ypc) and three touchdowns while splitting time at flanker. He took over the position full-time as a sophomore and while Markus Wheaton was the team's featured receiver, it was Cooks that was a Biletnikoff Award semi-finalist after pulling down 67 throws for 1,151 yards and five touchdowns in 2012.
With Wheaton gone to the National Football League, Cooks stepped on to the center stage as a junior and put together his record-breaking performance. The Biletnikoff Award winner was also the recipient of team MVP honors. The Maxwell Award semi-finalist also garnered All-American and All-Pac 12 Conference first-team honors in what would his final season on the college gridiron.
Cooks was also a standout athlete for the Oregon State University track team. He posted personal bests of 6.81 seconds in the 60 meters, 9.52 seconds in the 100 meters and 19.59 seconds in the 200 meters.
Cooks started 29-of-38 games at Oregon State at flanker, including his first two and final 27 contests...Gained 3,272 yards with 24 touchdowns on 226 catches (14.48 ypc), adding 340 yards and two scores on 61 carries (5.57 ypc), 72 yards on 12 punt returns and 179 yards on eight kickoff returns for a total of 3,863 all-purpose yards, an average of 101.66 yards per game...NCAA Career-Record Results...Among active NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision performers, Cooks ranked fifth in receiving yards and yards gained receiving per game (86.11)...His receiving yard total is 13th-best in that group and his average of 5.95 receptions per game is seventh-best among active players...Pac-12 Conference Career-Record Results...Cooks ranks 10th in league history with 226 catches, eighth with 3,272 receiving yards and tied for 18th with 26 touchdown receptions...School Career-Record Results...Cooks' 226 catches are topped by only Markus Wheaton (227; 2009-12) on the school record list...He joined Mike Hass (3,924; 2002-05) and James Newsom (3,572; 2001-03) as the only Oregon State players to gain over 3,000 receiving yards in a career...His 24 touchdown grabs broke the previous mark of 20 that was first set by Newsom and later matched by Hass...His 13 100-yard receiving performances are third in school annals behind Hass (19) and Newsom (16).
Cooks became the second player at the university to win the Biletnikoff Award, given to the nation's best
receiver...Earned All-American first-team honors from The NFL Draft Report, Walter Camp, Sporting News, Associated Press, Football Writers Association, ESPN.com, CBSSports.com, Sports Illustrated, FoxSports.com and Athlon, adding second-team accolades from USA Today...The first-team All-Pac 12 Conference first-team choice was also named a Maxwell Award semifinalist...Cooks became just the ninth player in school annals to earn national honors from the Walter Camp Football Foundation and he became the first OSU player since John Didion in 1968 to receive first-team accolades from the FWA...Started all 13 games at flanker, setting school and Pac-12 season-records with 128 receptions for 1,730 yards (13.52 ypc), as his 16 touchdown catches also set a school mark and ranked tied for third on the conference record sheet...Gained 217 yards with two touchdowns on 32 carries (6.78 ypc)...Added 72 yards on 12 punt returns, as his 2,019 all-purpose yards rank second on the school annual record chart...Led the nation in receiving yards and receptions per game (9.85)...Led the conference and finished second nationally for touchdown catches and receiving yards gained per game (133.08)...Tied the school season record (held by Mike Hass) with two 200-yard receiving performances and placed second on the season chart with eight 100-yard performances as a receiver...Opened the season with 196 yards with touchdowns of 7- and 14 yards on 13 receptions (third on the school game-record list) vs. Eastern Washington and scored on a pair of 8-yard grabs while gaining 92 yards on seven snatches vs. Hawaii...Pulled down nine balls for 210 yards (sixth on the school record list) and a career-high three scores from 55-, 18- and 6-yards out vs. Utah...Tied the school record with fourteen catches, good for 141 yards vs. San Diego State...Snatched nine balls for 168 yards, including 8-and 22-yard scores vs. Colorado, followed by 11 receptions for 137 yards and two more scores vs. Washington State, adding another touchdown on am 8-yard reverse...Scored again on a reverse of 14 yards and had a 34-yard touchdown catch, along with 232 yards on 13 catches vs. California...Made nine catches for 80 yards and an 8-yard score vs. Stanford and rushed twice for 40 yards, in addition to snaring six throws for 88 yards and a 27-yard score vs. Southern California...Tallied 117 yards on 10 grabs that included a score vs. Washington and caught 10 more balls for 110 yards vs. Oregon in the regular season finale...Closed out his career with 60 yards and a score on eight snatches vs. Boise State in the Hawaii Bowl.
The Biletnikoff Award semi-finalist received All-Pac 12 Conference first-team honors from The NFL Draft Report and garnered honorable mention from the league's coaches...In 13 starting assignments at flanker, he combined with split end Markus Wheaton (1,244) to be the first OSU receiving duo to exceed 1,000-yards receiving since 2003, as Cooks' 1,151 receiving yards ranked seventh on the school season-record chart, pulling in 67 passes (17.18 ypc) with five touchdowns...Carried 19 times for 82 yards (4.32 ypc) and amassed 1,233 all-purpose yards, an average of 94.85 yards per game...Gained at least 100 yards receiving in five contests...Four of his scoring grabs were for distances of 75, 54, 49 and 48 yards...Had a 20-yard score and six catches for 80 yards to open the season vs. Wisconsin, followed by a 75- yard touchdown via six grabs for 175 yards vs. UCLA...Followed with nine catches for 149 yards vs. Arizona and totaled 173 yards on eight receptions vs. Brigham Young...Snared nine balls for 123 yards and a 54-yard score vs. Washington...Gained 116 yards with a 49-yard score on six catches in the Arizona State clash...Added a 48-yard touchdown vs. Arizona.
Cooks played in 12 games, starting vs. Sacramento State, Wisconsin and Oregon...When he started vs. Sacramento State, he became the first OSU freshman to start a season opener since Roddy Tompkins vs. Montana in 1996...Recorded 391 yards with three touchdowns on 31 receptions (12.61 ypc), as he added 41 yards on 10 carries and 179 yards on eight kickoff returns (22.4 avg).
Cooks also lettered in track at Oregon State...Posted personal bests of 6.81 seconds in the 60 meters in January, 2012...Had a 9.52-second clocking in the 100 meters and 19.59 seconds in the 200 meters during the 2012 season...Clocked at 21.59 in the 200m as a freshman.
4.33 in the 40-yard dash...1.54 10-yard dash...2.53 20-yard dash...3.81 20-yard shuttle...10.72 60-yard shuttle...6.76 three-cone drill...36-inch vertical jump...10'-0" broad jump... Bench pressed 225 pounds 16 times...30 3⁄4-inch arm length...9 5/8-inch hands...73-inch wingspan.
Cooks attended Lincoln (Stockton, Cal.) High School, earning a four-star prospect billing from Rivals.com, as that recruiting service regarded him as the 26th-best receiver in the nation and ranked him 28th on their California Top 100 list...Earned Offensive Player of the Year in the Section, All-Area and team MVP two years each...Had 29 receptions for 600 yards and seven touchdowns as a sophomore...The following season, he made 46 catches for 783 yards and 10 touchdowns as a flanker, and on defense, he gained 110 yards via three interception returns...During his final campaign, Cooks registered 66 receptions for 1,125 yards and 11 touchdowns, as he ended up with 1,525 all purpose yards, as the first-team All-League and All-Area selection was also named the team's Offensive Player of the Year...Was also a standout sprinter in track, participating in the Junior Olympics...Closed out his prep career earning six total letters – three in football, two in track and one in basketball...Competed in the National Underclassmen Combine's All World Gridiron Classic December 31st, 2010 in Orlando and at the 2010 Nike Combine at Stanford, he earned MVP recognition.
Cooks is majoring in human development and family sciences...Son of Andrea and Worth Cooks...Has three brothers, Worth Jr., Fred and Andre...His stepbrother, Maurice Washington, played football at Texas A&M-Kingsville and was in the Oakland Raiders' training camp...Born 9/25/93 in Stockton, California
Associated Press photos of current and former members of the New Orleans Saints at the NFL Draft