Brandin Cooks for the Jets at 18. #KRM


With Gilbert off the board, I think we’ve moved into the no-longer-slam-dunk pick phase of the draft.  Here now is Zarathustra’s second pick1 for the KRM.


Let me preface all of this by saying I am not a fan of this pick, but unfortunately the New York Jets aren’t seeking my counsel and I am charged with picking as I believe they would pick in this scenario.  I suspect they would much prefer Gilbert or Dennard, but they are off the board and wide receiver is probably their biggest need.2 Cooks appears to be a guy they like.

And there is plenty to like.  He’s fast (4.33 40), fluid (3.81 in the short shuttle and 6.76 in the three-cone), and runs good routes (I have no effing clue how to judge this as I’ve never watched the 22 film and honestly probably wouldn’t be able to tell even if I had so I am just parroting the experts here.).3


Pro: never missed a game; durable.
Con: might could run out of bounds more than you want.

Oregon State had the third ranked passing offense in the country and he was by far the largest share of that–he accounted for 31% of the teams receptions and 36% of the Beaver passing offense.  His size is a concern but he has been remarkably durable, never having missed a game EVER at any level.  Moreover, he is comparable to DeSean Jackson from a size/speed perspective.  Marty Mornhinweg, having had success with a small and fast receiver like Jackson, is probably less concerned about size than others may be in a league where bigger receivers are once again trending.

But…can he handle the bigger more physical corners he will see on the outside or he is just a slot receiver?  I am by no means one to diminish the value of a great slot receiver, but there are certain characteristics a receiver must possess to excel in the slot and thereby warrant a first round grade.  I do not believe Cooks possesses these characteristics.  I watched quite a bit of Beaver football through the early conference schedule–and very little thereafter–and Cooks was definitely everywhere but I don’t recall ever projecting him as a premier slot guy on Sundays.


Here’s a guy projects to have have the size strength to beat edge CBs. And yet. (Click.)

In all my reading of scouting reports online the one weakness cited that screamed at me, echoing in the recesses of my memory, is “needs to avoid running backwards.”  This rarely works in college. This almost never works in the NFL.  Other weaknesses: “avoids contact”, “doesn’t make great decisions after the catch,” and “would much rather escape out-of-bounds.”

This does not sound to me like the psychological make-up for the type of fearless lunatic it takes to successfully man the slot in the NFL.  So if he doesn’t project well in the slot and lacks the size and strength to consistently beat bigger corners on the outside what we have is a prolific college receiver that played in a gimmick offense and wowed scouts with his combine performance.4

I hate this pick.  I would take Odell Beckham.  But as Kurtis Blow taught me when I was still just a wee ‘lil lad… sometimes these are the breaks.

Thanks Zara.   

We have trashycamaro on deck for the Dolphins next.
Pick #TeamSelection
(linked to KRM post)
1TexansBlake Bortlesjpftribe
2RamsGreg RobinsonDave Kolonich
3JaguarsSammy WatkinsClevTA
4BrownsJadeveon ClowneyZarathustra
5RaidersKhalil MackPete Franklin
6FalconsJake MatthewsOXR
7BucsJohnny ManzielPeterM
8VikingsTeddy Bridgewatertrashycamaro
9BillsTaylor Lewanclay
10LionsHa’Sean Clinton-Dixbluedog93
11TitansAnthony Barrkanick
12GiantsEric EbronRod of Disaster
13RamsMike EvansMatt Borcas
14BearsAaron DonaldJRich
15SteelersDarqueze Dennard tmoore94
16CowboysLouis NixGrandRapidsRustlers
17RavensJustin GilbertMGBode
18JetsBrandin CooksZarathustra
19DolphinsZack Martintrashycamaro
20CardinalsCalvin PryorJRich
21PackersJace AmaroClevTA
22EaglesMarqise LeeGrandRapidsRustlers
23ChiefsRa'Shede Hagemanclay
24BengalsBradley RobyOXR
25ChargersKyle Fullertexinottawa
26BrownsDerek CarrChuckKoz
27SaintsOdell Beckham tmoore94
28PanthersXavier Su'a-Filojpftribe
29PatriotsTimmy Jerniganbluedog93
30NinersJason VerrettRod of Disaster
31BroncosCJ MosleyPete Franklin
32SeahawksCameron FlemingDave Kolonich
33 (2nd rd)TexansTroy NiklasMatt Borcas
34RedskinsStephon Tuittkanick
35BrownsRyan ShazierMGBode


  1. See his first write-up for the Browns/Clowney here. [back]
  2. Jets defense [back]
  3. Nods. [back]
  4. On the other hand, Stephen Hill.  Equipped with every sought-after measure-able he’s showing more signs of becoming Carlton Mitchell as opposed to Josh Gordon.  As always, drafting is a lot crap shooting. [back]
  • Pingback: Marqise Lee to the Eagles. #KRM - Kanick()

  • jpftribe

    As Faux Dave Gettleman patiently waiting at No 28, I really like this pick.

  • i think the jets are a singularly hard pick to make because there’s always the woody johnson factor and woody wants the back page and thinks he gets it with offense. offense makes sense for the jets too, with the world class defense that carried them to eight wins.

    but if you look closer at the defense, while the run game was #1 (by far) the pass defense was a train wreck. if it’s me, i think i trust eric decker to be really good, give stephen hill another year (even though i’m expecting greg little, i’ll roll the dice) and i go out and give that pass defense some help with kyle fuller.

    • zarathustra

      I agree with all of this. Corner is their biggest need, but with the top two gone do they reach for fuller or roby or verrett? Maybe. But the jury is still out on last year’s first round corner–though in my opinion he will be fine–and it wasn’t long ago that they missed on Kyle Wilson in a similar spot (though that wasn’t idzik.) I do think wr is a bit more of a need than you though. I don’t think it wise to roll the dice with Decker and Hill. They need to add some one. Whether it will be in the first round I don’t know. But as you mentioned their (terrible) owner likes to make a splash and a fast and charismatic receiver is the way to do that with the players left on the board. If I were picking a receiver I would much prefer Beckham as I mentioned, but also Lee.
      I’m sure that rex will be begging for a corner–my guess would be roby–but I suspect idzik and the owner do not care in the slightest what the coach wants as they don’t plan on him being there long. This sums up the jets perfectly. Belichick was the coach of the year last year–by far–but rex was second in my mind and you can look back at previous years were he was also had one of the best coaching performances in the league. Of course the jets want him gone so that idzik can pick his own guy. Jets.

      • mgbode

        Nice job on the post and I agree with you on most of what you wrote here and in the column above. I definitely agree that the Jets feel like they want to make noise especially after last year’s draft where they went OL or DL with 4 of their 7 picks (and a FB with another one).

        I could see them passing up Lee & Beckham for Cooks as well despite me having Cooks behind both. I do have Lee ahead of Beckham though I like both. Lee just is such a fluid WR and was so dominant despite a cruddy situation in 2012 and somehow kept his name in the Heisman discussions that year (and this was being on a bad USC team and playing WR).

        The issue with Lee is if you think his ’13 season was a harbinger for his NFL career. Will he have issues with injuries? I cannot say it with certainty, but I’d be willing to roll the dice. Since you used walter-football as a link, just take a look at the strengths and weaknesses they list for him. Basically it boils down to:

        Weakness – might get hurt + not biggest WR

        Strengths – everything else

        Here’s a quick highlight package for him. One of the things I like best about him is watch his hips, he is always faking out the DB to what he is going to do even when he’s taking in a bubble-screen. Little things like that to create separation are key:

        • i would love to drill into a ‘next tier’ of WRs discussion. it’s like i have a one-word scout on each:

          cooks: fast;
          lee: routes (or ‘fluid’);
          beckham: hands;
          benjamin: size.

          i don’t even know if my blurb-y assessments are on mark but if they are, then it comes down to what each teams’ pref and/or need is. and for the jets, you’re kinda covered on the outside with decker and maybe hill and cooks would seem to be the most ‘slot-y’ of those four. (actually beckham maybe moreso but call it a wash.)

          the “route running” factor is the one that gives me pause with my evans infatuation. i still don’t know why carlton mitchell didn’t become andre johnson but i’m guessing ‘precise route running’ would be on the list.

          • mgbode

            please change Benjamin’s word to “drops” (“slow Braylon” is 2 words but a much more accurate description).

            and, I’d probably go with “explosive” for Beckham over hands if I had to give just 1 word. Cooks and Lee work well with the above words.

          • jpftribe

            Listened to the Tucker / Cossell podcasts on the draft last night. Cosell said that he has studied 42 WR’s and this is the deepest draft for WR he has ever done, going back over 10 years. Said there will be guys signed as UDFA’s that will go on to have productive NFL careers.

        • zarathustra

          One thing I didn’t get into with the post that may be somewhat relevant is that if you look at the Seahawks drafts during idzik’s tenure there quite a few lineman were taken so maybe last year’s jets draft demonstrates a trend with him. If so, maybe the eschew the “sexy” and take another lineman.
          No arguments from me ‘re: beckham and lee. I like them both and would rank them very close. I also think Jordan mathews should be considered in this tier. Hell no to Benjamin. Like you said: drops and slow too.

Skip to toolbar