Brandin Tawan Cooks (born September 25, 1993) is an American football wide receiver for the New England Patriots of the National Football League (NFL). He was drafted by the New Orleans Saints in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft. He played college football at Oregon State, where he received All-American recognition in 2013.

High school career

Cooks attended Lincoln High School in Stockton, California, where he played high school football for the Trojans. As a sophomore, he recorded 29 receptions for 600 yards and seven touchdowns. As a junior, he had 46 receptions for 783 yards and 10 touchdowns, while also collecting three interceptions on the defensive side of the ball. As a senior, he had 66 receptions for 1,125 yards and 11 touchdowns. Cooks was ranked by the Rivals.com recruiting network as the 26th-best wide receiver and the 240th overall prospect in his class. [2] He originally committed to play college football at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) but changed to Oregon State University. [3] [4] In addition to football, Cooks played basketball and ran track in high school.

College career

Cooks played at Oregon State from 2011 to 2013. As a true freshman in 2011, he played in all 12 games with three starts. He finished the season with 31 receptions for 391 yards and three touchdowns. He was also a kick returner averaging 22.4 yards a return. As a sophomore in 2012, he had 67 receptions for 1,151 yards and five touchdowns. The combination of Cooks and Markus Wheaton created one of the most dynamic receiving duos in college football and Oregon State history. The two players combined for 158 receptions, 2,395 yards, and 16 touchdowns in the 2011 season. [5]

During his junior year in 2013, he had 128 receptions, 1,730 receiving yards, and 16 touchdowns. [6] Cooks's receptions and receiving yards were Pac-12 records. [7] [8] [9] He was held to under 100 yards only four times and exceeded 200 yards in a game twice. [10] At the end of the season, he won the Fred Biletnikoff Award and was a consensus All-American. [2] [2] He was the second Oregon State player to win the Biletnikoff Award, the first being Mike Hass in 2005.

On January 2, 2014, Cooks announced that he would forgo his senior season and enter the 2014 NFL Draft. [2]

In addition to football, Cooks ran track at Oregon State. He earned a second-place finish in the 60-meter dash at the 2012 UW Invitational, clocking a personal-best time of 6.81 seconds. [2]

College career statistics

Year GP Receiving Rushing
Rec Yds Avg Long 100+ 200+ TD Avg/G Att Yds Avg TD
2011 12 31 391 12.6 59 0 0 3 32.6 10 41 4.1 0
2012 13 67 1,151 17.2 75 5 0 5 95.9 19 82 4.3 0
2013 13 128 1,730 13.5 55 8 2 16 133 32 217 6.8 2
Total 226 3,272 14.5 75 13 2 24 86.1 61 340 5.6 2

Collegiate awards and honors

  • Biletnikoff Award (2013)
  • Consensus All-American (2013)
  • Hawaii Bowl Champion (2013)
  • First-team All- Pac-12 (2013)
  • All-Pac-12 Honorable Mention (2012)
  • Pac-12 record for most receiving yards in a single season (2013)
  • 1st all-time career receiving touchdowns at Oregon State (24 touchdowns)
  • 3rd all-time career receiving yards at Oregon State (3,272 yards)
  • 2013 NCAA leader in receiving yards (1,730 yards)
  • 2013 Pac-12 leader in receiving touchdowns (16 touchdowns)
  • 2013 Pac-12 leader in receptions (128 receptions)
  • 2012 Pac-12 leader in yards per reception (17.2 yards)

Professional career

Pre-draft measurables
Ht Wt 40‑yd dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20‑ss 3‑cone Vert jump Broad BP
5 ft 10 in
(1.78 m)
189 lb
(86 kg)
4.33 s 1.53 s 2.50 s 3.81 s 6.76 s 36 in
(0.91 m)
10 ft 0 in
(3.05 m)
16 reps
All values from NFL Combine

Cooks was selected by the New Orleans Saints as the 20th pick of the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft ; the Saints traded up from the 27th spot, giving their first and third-round picks to the Arizona Cardinals in return for Arizona's first-round pick, in order to get Cooks. [2] On May 18, 2014, the Saints signed Cooks to a four-year contract worth $8.3 million. [2]

New Orleans Saints

2014 season

In his first career game, Cooks caught seven passes for 77 yards and a touchdown and had one rush for 18 yards in a 37–34 loss to the Atlanta Falcons at the Georgia Dome. [2] [2] [2] This made Cooks the youngest player (20 years, 347 days) to catch a touchdown pass since Reidel Anthony on Sep 28, 1997, at 20 years 343 days. [2] Cooks had 53 catches for 550 yards and 3 touchdowns before breaking his thumb in Week 11 against the Cincinnati Bengals, ending his season. [3]

2015 season

Cooks began the 2015 season as the number-one wide receiver for the Saints. Cooks caught for over 100 yards in a game for the first time in his career in the Week 5 game against the Philadelphia Eagles, where he had 5 catches for 107 yards and a touchdown. In Weeks 15 and 16 combined, Cooks had 15 catches for 247 yards and 2 touchdowns against the Detroit Lions and Jacksonville Jaguars. He finished the 2015 season with 84 catches for 1,138 yards and 9 touchdowns, leading the Saints in all of those categories.

2016 season

Before the 2016 season, Cooks was pegged as a breakout candidate by ESPN. [3] He lived up to the pre-season hype when he caught six passes for a career-high 143 yards and two touchdowns in a Week 1 35–34 loss against the Oakland Raiders. He caught a 98-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter to set the Saints' franchise record for longest play. Cooks, along with Willie Snead IV and Michael Thomas, finished the day with 373 receiving yards combined. [3] Following a Week 12 win versus the Los Angeles Rams, in which he was not targeted for a single pass, Cooks voiced his frustration by saying, "Closed mouths don't get fed." [3] Cooks set a new career-high in receiving yards with 1,173, and while his targets dropped from 129 in 2015 to 117 in 2016, his 10.0 yards per target ranked No. 6 among NFL wide receivers. [3]

New England Patriots

On March 10, 2017, the New England Patriots traded their 2017 first-round and third-round draft picks to the Saints for Cooks and a 2017 fourth-round draft pick. [3] [3] [3] [3] On April 29, 2017, the Patriots picked up the fifth-year option on Cooks' contract. [3]

On September 10, 2017, Cooks made his Patriots debut against the Kansas City Chiefs on Thursday Night Football . He had three receptions for 88 yards in the 42–27 loss. [4] In Week 3, Cooks had five receptions for 131 yards and scored his first two touchdowns as a Patriot, including a 25-yard game winner with 23 seconds to go in a 36-33 win over the Texans; after the game-winning touchdown he also scored on the ensuing two-point conversion. In Week 11 against the Oakland Raiders at Estadio Azteca, Cooks had six receptions for 149 receiving yards and a touchdown in a 33-8 victory. [4] Through Week 12 of the 2017 season, Cooks led all players in receptions of 40+ yards, with 6. [4]

Career statistics

Receiving Rushing Fumbles Record
Year Team G GS Rec Yds Avg Lng TD Att Yds Avg Lng TD Fum Lost W–L
2014 NO 10 7 53 550 10.4 50 3 7 73 10.4 28 1 1 0 4-3
2015 NO 16 12 84 1,138 13.5 71T 9 8 18 2.3 11 0 1 0 4-8
2016 NO 16 12 78 1,173 15.0 98T 8 6 30 5.0 11 0 1 0 5-7
2017 NE 11 10 51 869 17.0 64T 5 4 21 5.2 13 0 0 0 8-2
Total 53 41 266 3,730 14.0 98 25 25 142 5.7 28 1 3 0 21-20

Career statistics accurate as of Week 11 of the 2017 season. [4]

Personal life

Cooks was 6 years old when his father died of a heart attack, and he was thereafter raised by his mother, Andrea Cooks. He is one of four brothers. [4]

Cooks followed big plays in the 2016 season with a bow-and-arrow motion. Cooks said the motion referenced a Bible verse in which a boy named Ishmael used his archery skill to survive in the desert after he nearly died there without water. [4]

Cooks is a big fan of the Portland Trail Blazers of the NBA. [4]

See also