Washington Redskins: Brandin Cooks

Combine leftovers from Polian, Clayton

February, 26, 2014
A few combine leftovers of note that could be applicable to the Washington Redskins:

Former general manager and current ESPN NFL Insider Bill Polian listed 14 players Insider among those he considered the most impressive. A handful of them might be available when the Redskins make their first choice with the 34th overall selection.
Odell Beckham Jr., WR, LSU: This is a very explosive player. He ran a good 40-yard dash time (4.43 seconds, tied for seventh among receivers) and a really great triangle drill (6.69 seconds, tied for sixth among WRs). He has good hands and runs explosive routes.

Brandin Cooks, WR, Oregon State: He has great speed (his 40 time of 4.33 was the best among receivers at the combine), great skills and great separation quickness, which will likely be enough to overcome his size (5-foot-10, 189 pounds).

Beckham probably solidified a first round selection with his speed at the combine, which confirmed what scouts had anticipated. He's fast. Cooks, too, could be a late first-round pick; entering the combine he was pegged as someone who could go there or early in the second. ESPN's Mel Kiper listed Cooks among his risers Insider after the combine. Among Kiper's fallers? LSU receiver Jarvis Landry, thanks to his 4.77 in the 40.

Polian then listed two defensive backs that should be intriguing, even if the Redskins should have its starting corners in DeAngelo Hall and David Amerson. However, consider this: Amerson played 684 snaps last season as the No. 3 corner; that's 67 percent of the snaps. If you don't have three solid corners, you're in trouble.

So here are two guys, Jason Verrett and Lamarcus Joyner, who should be around after the first round. The only problem is that Verrett is 5-foot-9, though he moves so well, and Joyner is only 5-foot-8 and might be limited to playing a slot corner and returner (or perhaps safety). But, still, Polian liked them and had this to say:
Lamarcus Joyner, CB, Florida State: A very good college player with really good instincts, Joyner confirmed Tuesday in Indianapolis that he can run well.

Jason Verrett, CB, TCU: He is a really good cover cornerback with outstanding speed (he ran a 4.38 40, tied for second-best among corners) and the ability to stick to receivers in man-to-man coverage.

Finally, here's a tidbit from John Clayton's final observations from the combine that makes a lot of sense to me.

Again, the Redskins want and need more receiver help. Doesn't mean they'll spend big, but with Josh Morgan and Santana Moss both free agents they definitely have spots to fill.

Clayton makes the case, as I would as well, that the draft provides a terrific option:
This receiver class will hurt free agents at the position: With Hakeem Nicks being a slight question mark coming off two years in which he struggled with injuries, there are no great receivers in free agency. Last year it was easy to see Mike Wallace was going to get the most money. He was a No. 1 receiver with speed. Most of the free-agent receivers this year fit more into the slot.

Many of the top receivers in this year's draft project to be No. 1 receivers in the future. [Sammy] Watkins is clearly the best receiver to hit this league since A.J. Green of the Cincinnati Bengals and Julio Jones of the Atlanta Falcons. The draft is loaded with great receiving prospects -- Watkins, Mike Evans of Texas A&M, Odell Beckham of LSU, Marqise Lee of USC, Kelvin Benjamin of Florida State and Brandin Cooks of Oregon State. Teams may prefer the potential of drafted receivers over the track records of the receivers available in free agency.

Looking at the fastest college WRs

February, 24, 2014
Speed isn't everything at receiver, where route-running and hands and quickness matter quite a bit as well. But speed does help, especially if you’re a team trying to add a little more and stretch the defense -- such as the Washington Redskins. So I thought I'd check out the 10 fastest receivers, based on their 40-yard dash times, to see how they produced in the NFL and where they project. Among the receivers not on the list? Marqise Lee, Mike Evans, Davante Adams, Jarvis Landry, Kelvin Benjamin, Robert Herron and Josh Huff -- all are included among Mel Kiper's Top 10 receivers. That's why speed is good, but it's not everything.

Regardless, here are the top 10 when it comes to 40-yard dash times:

Brandin Cooks
College: Oregon State
Size: 5-10, 189
Time: 4.33 seconds
College production: Was named the Biletnikoff winner, given to the nation’s best receiver. He also was a first-team All-American after setting Pac-12 records for receptions (128) and receiving yards (1,730).
Projection: Possible first-round pick; likely an inside receiver with the ability to move outside.

John Brown
College: Pittsburg State (Kansas)
Size: 5-10, 179
Time: 4.34
College production: Dominated Division II the past three years; was named an AP Little All-American three times as an all-purpose player, including a first-teamer in 2012. Finished his three-year career with school records in catches (185) and touchdowns (32). Averaged 32.4 yards per kickoff return as a senior.
Projection: Slot receiver/returner. Mid- to late-round pick.

Donte Moncrief
College: Mississippi
Size: 6-2, 221
Time: 4.40
College production: Finished his three-year career No. 3 on his school’s all-time list for receptions 9156), receiving yards (2,371) and receiving touchdowns (20). His nine 100-yard games ranked second on the school’s all-time list.
Projection: Outside receiver. Second-third round.

Paul Richardson
College: Colorado
Size: 6-0, 175
Time: 4.40
College production: After missing all of 2012 following a torn ACL, Richardson started all 12 games and was Colorado’s leader in catches (83), receiving yards (1,343) and receiving touchdowns (10).
Projection: Outside receiver. Second-third round.

Martavis Bryant
College: Clemson
Size: 6-4, 211
Time: 4.42
College production: In three seasons, Bryant (a former high school teammate of Doug Williams’ son), caught 61 passes for 1,354 yards and 13 touchdowns.
Projection: Outside receiver/red zone target. Third round.

Jeff Janis
College: Saginaw Valley State
Size: 6-3, 219
Time: 4.42
College production: Dominated Division II, earning first-team AP Little All-American honors the past two seasons. He caught 83 passes for 1,572 yards and 14 touchdowns in 2013. He had 4,175 receiving yards the past three seasons combined.
Projection: Outside receiver/red zone target. Late-round pick.

Odell Beckham
College: LSU
Size: 5-11, 198
Time: 4.43
College Production: Set an LSU record with 2,315 all-purpose yards thanks in part to his return ability.
Projection: Slot receiver/returner. First-second round.

Sammy Watkins
College: Clemson
Size: 6-1, 211
Time: 4.43
College production: Was second-team All-American receiver as a senior and first-team all-purpose player as a freshman. Watkins established school records in catches (240) and receiving yards (3,391).
Projection: Outside receiver. Top-10 pick.

Albert Wilson
College: Georgia State
Size: 5-9, 202
Time: 4.43
College production: Averaged 190.2 all-purpose yards, though it’s not as if his returns were stellar. He averaged 23.5 on kickoffs and 8.5 yards on punts this past season. Finished career with 6,235 all-purpose yards, including 3,190 as a receiver.
Projection: Slot receiver/returner. Late-round pick.

Jalen Saunders
College: Oklahoma
Size: 5-9, 165
Time: 4.44
College production: After transferring from Fresno State, Saunders caught a combined 123 passes for 1,558 yards the past two seasons. He returned 20 punts for 308 yards and two touchdowns this past season.
Projection: Inside receiver/return man. Late-round pick.