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Oregon State's Brandin Cooks says he's draft's top receiver

Clemson's Sammy Watkins will be long gone by the time Brandin Cooks hears his name at the NFL draft podium, but that doesn't mean Watkins is any better than the former Oregon State star.

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At least, that's Cooks' view.

"I feel like I'm the best receiver in this draft. I feel like the only thing knocking me, in some people's eyes, is my height [5-foot-10]. Other than that, I've got great routes, I'm versatile and I can do a lot of things some of the guys in this class can't," Cooks told espnnewyork.com.

And why should he lack for confidence? After posting an NCAA-best 1,730 receiving yards last season, he's as proven as any receiver in the draft at the college level. He stood out just as much at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis with a blistering 40-yard dash of 4.33 seconds, the best time of any receiver. His 3.81 and 10.72 times in the 20-yard and 60-yard shuttles, respectively, beat out every receiver in Indianapolis, as well.

In short, his confidence is grounded in facts.

There are strong examples of wide receivers who became the best of their respective draft class without being the first receiver selected. Atlanta Falcons star Roddy White, picked No. 27 overall in 2005, would be one such case. More recently, Chicago's Alshon Jeffery and the Colts' T.Y. Hilton didn't even go in the first round in 2012, but are all but sure to post stronger careers than that year's highest-drafted receiver: The oft-troubled Justin Blackmon of the Jaguars.

Being the third wide receiver drafted, behind Watkins and Texas A&M's Mike Evans, is probably Cooks' best-case scenario, in part due to the size he issue he cited himself. Worst-case? Odell Beckham, Marqise Lee, and Kelvin Benjamin all shake NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell's hand before Cooks does. The New York Jets, in dire need of receiving help, hold the No. 18 pick and could be the club to bring Cooks' wait to an end. But Lee is considered a strong possibility for that pick, as well.

Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter @ChaseGoodbread.

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