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Oregon State's Brandin Cooks has only one team visit scheduled


That touted Oregon State wide receiver Brandin Cooks is visiting the receiver-needy New York Jets this week is not a surprise. What is a surprise is that the trip is Cooks' only planned team visit.

Does that mean Cooks is overrated by draft analysts, most of whom have him going in the first round? Not at all. As NFL Media insider Ian Rapoport reported there are few questions about Cooks as a prospect. The same held true last year for Notre Dame tight end Tyler Eifert, who only made one team visit but still was picked 21st in the first round, by the Cincinnati Bengals.

There's a lot to like about Cooks (5-feet-10, 189 pounds). He had the fastest 40 time among receivers at February's NFL Scouting Combine, being clocked in blazing 4.33 seconds. He also ran the 20-yard shuttle in an eye-opening 3.81 seconds and had a 36-inch vertical jump. His production was excellent, too: He was second nationally with 128 receptions in 2013, good for a nation's-leading 1,730 yards (13.5 yards per catch) and 16 touchdowns (also second nationally). In his final two seasons with the Beavers, Cooks had 195 receptions for 2,881 yards and 21 TDs.

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His lack of height is somewhat bothersome, but he makes up for that by being a high-level athlete with excellent hands and toughness. Oh, yeah: That speed is a positive, too.

Cooks is the No. 4 receiver and the No. 16 overall prospect for NFL Media senior draft analyst Gil Brandt and the No. 4 receiver and 21st overall prospect for fellow analyst Daniel Jeremiah . He also is the No. 4 receiver for analyst Mike Mayock.

"This kid's special with the ball in his hands," Mayock said during the combine. Stats bear that out: shows Cooks led the nation with 32 receptions covering at least 20 yards in 2013, and added 16 of at least 30 yards and eight of at least 40 yards. Think about this for a moment: Fully one-fourth of Cook's catches in 2013 went for at least 20 yards.

Clemson's Sammy Watkins and Texas A&M's Mike Evans are going to be the first two receivers off the board (and most likely in that order), but Cooks and LSU's Odell Beckham Jr. should vie to become the third. USC's Marqise Lee is another possibility.

The Jets pick 18th and make sense as a landing spot for Cooks. While Eric Decker was added in free agency, there isn't much proven talent at receiver to help him out. The concern for the Jets is which teams ahead of them decide to go for a receiver. One positive for all the receiver-needy teams is that this is a deep draft at the position, and help can be found in every round.

Still, Cooks looks to have the potential to become a legitimate No. 1 receiver, and those guys can be tough to find, which should increase Cooks' value.

Mike Huguenin can be reached at You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.



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