Confident Brandin Cooks believes he can be better than DeSean Jackson

Brandin Cooks is a speedy deep threat that's been trending up the mock boards lately. - Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Oregon State receiving prospect Brandin Cooks believes he can be more than just a viable receiver in the NFL.

In the short-term, the Ravens are set at receiver.

Torrey Smith, Steve Smith and Jacoby Jones form a formidable trio at the position. Marlon Brown figures to still be in the mix after tying a franchise rookie record with seven touchdowns in 2013. Then there's Dennis Pitta and what will likely be another tight end added at some point — whether it's Ed Dickson coming back, Owen Daniels joining the roster or someone being taken in the upcoming draft.

But here's an option for Ravens fans to ponder: Oregon State receiver Brandin Cooks has been a prospect that has generated some buzz as a potential first-round pick. With the Raven looking to add a receiver, could he be someone of interest?

Before releasing a new mock draft on Thursday, ESPN's Mel Kiper had the Ravens taking Cooks in the first round at 17th overall.

So here's the lowdown on Cooks: He's not a big target at just 5-10, 189 pounds. But that hasn't stopped plenty of short receivers from being successful. One immediate comparison for Cooks is DeSean Jackson, given they both possess exceptional top-end speed.

Cooks ran a 4.33 40-yard dash time at the combine and routinely racked up yards for the Beavers. In his junior season, Cooks caught 128 passes for 1,730 yards and 16 touchdowns. Cooks went over the 100-yard mark eight times in Oregon State's 13 games in 2013, and went for over 200 yards twice (Utah, 210; California, 232).

Here are some highlight tapes of him. The kid can seemingly do it all — he can go deep, win a jump ball despite his size, run the reverse, catch the short pass and take it for plenty of yards after the catch, etc. Take a look for yourself.

And like any receiver of this caliber, Cooks comes with some swagger. Speaking to Philly.com, Cooks talked about Jackson, the player he gets compared to. Here's what he had to say:

"[Jackson's] game is unbelievable. The man can blow the top off, catch the deep routes, catch the underneath routes, produce in the return game. He’s just special. He’s a freak. I definitely admire his game. Maybe Chip Kelly is looking to take another speedy receiver in that first round, and that could be me. Who knows? And if that’s the case, a lot of people will wonder ‘Can he do it like DeSean Jackson?’ In my opinion, I can do it like him and do it better."

Clearly, the Eagles are in need of a new deep threat like Jackson, given they cut him last Friday. But the Eagles don't pick until 22nd overall. Some mocks are beginning to jump Cooks over other receiving prospects Marqise Lee and Kelvin Benjamin. And he very well could be there at 17th overall.

Cooks is definitely someone to keep an eye on, especially if he keeps trending up draft boards. The Ravens have two primary outside receivers on the roster in Jones and Torrey Smith, with Brown and Steve Smith able to play both outside and inside. Adding Cooks, someone who can line up at both, could further expand the offense's capabilities and help out with the over-the-middle routes Gary Kubiak is bringing to this offense.

As I've stated before, this draft has so many options for the Ravens, especially in the first round. It's a unique position for them, and their decision may not be set until they're on the clock.


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