Former Oregon State record setting and consensus All-American receiver Brandin Cooks was selected in Thursday’s first round of the National Football League Draft by the New Orleans Saints. Cooks was the 20th player selected in the Draft overall and becomes the first Beaver to be picked in the opening round since Steven Jackson was the 24th player by St. Louis in 2004. He is also is the highest selected Beaver since Heisman Trophy recipient Terry Baker was No. 1 in the 1963 draft by the then Los Angeles Rams.
Cooks is the seventh Beaver drafted by the Saints joining quarterback Sean Canfield (2010), wide receiver Mike Hass (2006), linebacker James Allen (2002), tackle Mitch White (2001), cornerback Calvin Nicholson (1989) and cornerback Mel Easely (1970).
Cooks was the 2013 recipient of the Biletnikoff Award as the nation’s most outstanding college receiver. He set numerous school and Pac-12 Conference records, including new league marks for single season receptions with 128 and single season yards with 1,730 (NCAA leader in 2013). During his OSU career he accounted for 226 receptions for 3,272 yards, 3,863 all-purpose yards and 26 total touchdowns (24 rec, 2 rush).
The native from Stockton, Calif., made himself eligible for the NFL Draft prior to his senior season after earning Pac-12 First Team honors. Defensive end Scott Crichton is also eligible for this year’s Draft after playing three seasons for the Beavers. An underclassman can make himself eligible for the NFL Draft as long as three years have passed since his high school graduation.
Oregon State has had six players selected in the First Round of the NFL Draft; Jackson, Baker, Nick Barnett (Green Bay/2003), Ken Carpenter (Cleveland/1960) and Joe Gray (Chicago/1938).
OSU WR NFL Draft Selections (modern day)
Brandin Cooks, Saints, 1st Rd, 2014
Markus Wheaton, Steelers, 3rd Rd, 2012
Sammie Stroughter, Buccaneers, 7th, 2009
Mike Hass, Saints, 6th, 2006
Chad Johnson, Bengals, 2nd, 2001
T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Bengals, 7th, 2001
Tim Alexander, Redskins, 7th, 1999
Robb Thomas, Chiefs, 6th, 1989
Reggie Bynum, Bills, 9th, 1986