Breaking Down 49ers interest in Brandin Cooks on NFL Path to the Draft

Eugene Tanner/AP

Eugene Tanner/AP

There has been no shortage of talent at the wide receiver position in this year’s NFL Draft. A draft class that is filled with big playmakers on the outside, it’s no wonder they are the most talked about position leading up to draft day. As a result NFL Network featured WR Brandin Cooks last night on Path to the Draft.

A player that I predicted to be targeted by the San Francisco 49ers, as I have the 49ers trading up with the Dallas Cowboys or Baltimore Ravens, it’s Cooks’ versatility that will prove to be invaluable. A trade scenario that was also featured on NFL’s Path to the Draft featuring the 49ers selection, as they shared our insight via our twitter account, Cooks has been creating quite a buzz as he tries to fight his way into the mid first-round.

NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah and Charles Davis caught up with the speedy receiver, as they asked him numerous questions in regards to transitioning to the NFL. Below is the full transcript.

On how Oregon State’s pro-style offense will help him transition to the NFL:

Coming from a pro-style offense is definitely an amazing part, because obviously you’re getting ready for the NFL…you’re running your comebacks, your ends, and at the same time you’re blowing the top off. So going into the NFL, I feel like I’ll be a step ahead of those rookies.

On being consistently double-teamed due to not having WR Markus Wheaton:

The mindset going into the game. I felt like ‘No one could stop me!’ If one can’t, you’re going to need about three, four. That’s my mindset. I definitely want to put on film that I can beat double coverage, and that’s what you’re going to have to do in this game when you’re a top wide receiver in college.

On what his strengths are:

Be able to run routes and catch those underneath routes and take it 60. Being versatile, being in the return-game, and be able to fly/sweep. It’s one of those things that you know you’re going to have to pick your poison on how you’re going to stop me that game, I mean if you’re going to pick that, I’m going to hit you with another one.

 On what teams have shown significant interest in him:

To be honest, it’s one of those things that everyone seems like they’re really interested. I got a trip to New York in April for the Jets. So when he came out there we talked and I definitely want to put on a show but at the same time, just playing the game and doing what I love to do. I got Carolina coming up for a private workout, New England came by.

On who he models his game after:

You got Steve Smith. Check one of my quotes a while back you got thee Curtis Conway. Going back to the old school. I like to patent my game after guys like that. They’re physical, they run great-routes, and have that killer instinct.

So what have we learned from Cooks’ interview? Well considering I had the Jets selecting him in my mock draft if all things remained the same (no trades), my prediction seems to be spot on as they will host Cooks for a pre-draft visit. Aside from last year’s second first-round pick NT Sheldon Richardson, all of their first-round picks came in for a pre-draft visit since 2009. Which is why I made it clear that the 49ers must trade ahead of New York with teams such as the Dallas Cowboys or Baltimore Ravens to secure Cooks’ services.

Also, NFL Network further compared his NFL Combine numbers to those of WR Emmanuel Sanders. Remember him? The player the 49ers were targeting via free-agency this off-season. In a nut-shell, all signs point to the 49ers targeting Cooks. He has the versatility, speed, and high-character the 49ers covet and with them showing little interest in first-round selections, it’s confirmed he is high on their radar and likely solidified his name with a gold helmet next to his name.

Ryan is the Founder/CEO of, 49ers Beat Writer, Live Game Day Correspondent for Bleacher Report and member of Pro Football Writers of America. Born and raised in San Jose, he also graduated from San Diego State University. His work has been featured on NFL Network, 95.7 The Game, National Football Post, Sports Illustrated, FanSided Network, ESPN Radio, CBS Sports 810, and NBC Bay Area News. For more information, please contact him via email at or call him at (408) 622-0996.