New England Patriots: Ranking New England’s 4 most athletic players

FOXBORO, MA - DECEMBER 24: Eric Rowe /
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GLENDALE, AZ – SEPTEMBER 13: Wide receiver Brandin Cooks
GLENDALE, AZ – SEPTEMBER 13: Wide receiver Brandin Cooks /

WR Brandin Cooks

Brandin Cooks was drafted by the New Orleans Saints in the first round of the 2014 draft and was traded to the Patriots earlier this offseason. Before all of that, he earned a 126.0 pSPARQ score and 1.4 Z-score, the twelfth highest rating in the 2014 wide receiver class and a better score than first-round picks turned Pro Bowl wideouts, Odell Beckham Jr. and Mike Evans.

In 2014, Cooks finished the Scouting Combine with a 4.33-second 40-yard dash, 3.81-second 20-yard shuttle, and 10.72-second 60-yard shuttle, earning ‘Top Performer’ in all three drills. His 16 reps on the bench press, 36-inch vertical leap, and 10-foot broad jump are lackluster but understood given his undersized 5-foot-10 frame.

Cooks’ speed is simply what makes him such an intriguing athlete. His 6.76-second three-cone drill, Combine record 20-yard shuttle, and blazing fast 40 are what make him the threat that he is. Cooks can take the top off of a defense as a vertical threat or use his agility, balance, and elusiveness to turn short passes into touchdowns.

MockDraftable compares Cooks to receivers Deion Branch and Phillip Dorsett. Dorsett earned a 131.5 pSPARQ score and 1.4 Z-score, standing ninth among the 2015 wide receiver class. Branch played seven seasons with New England and collected seven touchdowns over thirty yards. It’s likely that Cooks athletic abilities will be used like Branch’s were. For example, his 79-yard touchdown versus the Detroit Lions.