NFL Prospect Focus: Brandin Cooks and Scott Crichton

Brandin Cooks – Wide Receiver

Size – 5010e – 188e – 4.45e

Strong Points – Very productive, hands, routes, run after catch, has returned kicks

Weak Points – Lacks ideal size</p>

Summation – Cooks is a third-year junior who entered the Draft as an underclassmen. He was one of the most productive receivers in the country for the 2013 season with 128 receptions for 1730 yards and 16 touchdowns. He also ran for 217 yards on 32 carries.

Cooks is not the biggest receiver. He is listed as being 5010 – 188 and may not be that big. He is an excellent athlete with speed and very good body control. I would estimate his play speed as being in the 4.45 area. He has very good quickness, instant change of direction, and can stop and start as quickly as any player I have ever seen.

In the Oregon State offense, he isn’t required to run a lot of different routes, but he does run very good routes. He can cut very quickly and easily gains separation. His ability to cut multiple times in a route and stay under control is rare. He is used mostly on bubble screens, comebacks, crossing routes, and go routes. He has very good hands and easily adjusts to the ball in the air. He consistently catches the ball away from his body.

Despite his lack of top size, he is fearless in traffic and very competitive going after the ball. After the catch, he has excellent run skills. He is an instinctive runner who can make multiple defenders miss in space. With his burst and speed, he is a threat to turn any short catch into a long gain. As a blocker, he is willing but not consistently effective. As a freshman, Cooks returned kickoffs and averaged better than 22 yards per return. He returned punts this year for a six yard average.

Brandin Cooks is a very exciting receiver to watch. He is quick, fast, elusive, and competitive. I see no reason why he wouldn’t step in and start as a rookie in the right situation. Big receivers are in vogue in the NFL right now but Cooks has a special skill set. He will be best off as a slot receiver and should put up big numbers once he gets accustomed to the NFL game. I see no reason why he wouldn’t be a top return guy, also. His size may keep him out of the first round but he will be long gone before the midway part of the second round.

Grade – A 6.7

Scott Crichton – Defensive End – Oregon State

Size – 6030e – 265e – 4.75e

Strong Points – Very productive, strength and power, shed blocks, defense run, pass rush, pursuit, tackle

Weak Points – Lacks ideal size

Summation – Crichton is a fourth-year junior who is entering the Draft as an underclassmen. He red shirted as a true freshman and has been a starter the last three seasons. He had a very productive 2013 season with 47 total tackles, 19 tackles for loss and 7.5 sacks. For his career, he has a total of 22.5 sacks and 51 tackles for loss.

Crichton lines up at both defensive end spots in their scheme. He has adequate size at about 6030 – 265 and is a good to really good athlete. He has good body control, stays on his feet, can change direction, and runs well. I would estimate his play speed as being in the 4.75 range. Though he lacks great size, he is strong and explosive and does a very good job of holding the point.

Crichton is a quick reacting, instinctive player who finds the ball. He gets off the ball quickly, has quick hands to control blockers, and can shed. He has the strength and power to two-gap an offensive lineman and not give up ground. With his athleticism and quick feet, he has very good lateral movement and can clear piles easily. He plays both the inside and outside run equally well and is a top pursuit player. He consistently takes good angles while in pursuit.

He is a very good pass rusher with a quick first step. He stays low, has the power in his hips to bull rush, and the quick hands and feet to put together counter moves. He is effective with rip and swim moves and can close off blockers. He faces a lot of double teams, yet still gets pressure and sack production.

Overall, Crichton is an interesting prospect. He doesn’t have ideal size, but he is a smart, well coached player and very competitive and physical. He can play defensive end in a 4-3 scheme, and I feel he has the athleticism to be able to play OLB in a 3-4. Workouts will tell us if that is the case. In the right situation, he should be able to start as a rookie. I see him being drafted somewhere between the 25th and 40th selection. The one-gap 4-3 teams may have him rated even higher.

Grade – A 6.6

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