So long as a video of Henry Ruggs smoking something worse than marijuana out of an apparatus that is worse than a gas mask doesn’t pop up on Zoom or TikTok on April 23rd, the Los Angeles Rams won’t be drafting the player who may most closely resemble the departed Brandin Cooks at wide receiver.
Ruggs, the inevitable first round pick out of Alabama who scored on 24 of his 98 career receptions for the Crimson Tide, ran a 4.27 40-yard dash at the 2020 Scouting Combine. He weighed 188 lbs on a 5’8 frame with a 42” vertical and a 10’11 broad jump.
In 2014, Cooks went to the combine and was 5’10, 189 lbs, ran a 4.33 with a 36” vertical and a 10’ broad jump. So not only was Ruggs the only player similar to Cooks at the combine, he was technically better in nearly any measurement and that’s one reason the Rams won’t be drafting him: they don’t pick until 52 and 57. Ruggs isn’t likely to make it out of the top 20.
Does anyone else come close to Cooks and to LA’s draft range?
The next-fastest receiver at the combine was Southern Miss’s Quez Watkins, and he’s likely to be available to the Rams several times, if not throughout the entire draft. He’s 6’, 185 lbs, ran a 4.35, and was highly productive in college. However, he had a bad 3-cone time, a mediocre short shuttle, and has been said to have below average route running abilities.
The next-fastest after Watkins is a player who has been all over the board from the first and second round and could potentially fall far enough for the Rams to take a shot. That being said, he’s not going to be confused for Brandin Cooks.
Denzel Mims is 6’3, 206, and he ran a 4.38. Mims had a 38.5” vertical and matched Ruggs in the broad jump at 10’11. Mims has caught 28 touchdowns in the past three seasons, totaling 1,020 yards and 12 scores in 2019 with Baylor. At The Draft Network, he was compared to both Kenny Golladay and ... D.J. Hackett. Mims could be a talented receiver and a fast receiver, but certainly seems to be a different receiver than Cooks.
Finally among those who did test, Tulane’s Darnell Mooney came in at 5’11, 176 lbs, and he ran a 4.38, which is at least in striking distance of Cooks. That’s likely where the comparisons end and Mooney isn’t expected to hear his name called until day three at the earliest, if at all.
That is about it from the players who ran the 40 at the combine, but at least one name stands out who didn’t: K.J. Hamler.
At 5’9, 176 lbs, Hamler is even smaller than Mooney, who gets knocked for his size already. I suppose he is a little “thicker” though. Hamler “tweaked” his hamstring and ended up not running and then never got another shot because all those pro days and workouts were cancelled. Hamler said that he ran a 4.27, same as Ruggs, earlier in the year. At Penn State in 2019, Hamler caught 56 passes for 904 yards and eight touchdowns.
Hamler does appear to be fast. Here he is out-running a bunch of Buckeyes for a 93-yard touchdown:
Hamler and Mims could be available at 52, or they could be available at 40 and the Rams could consider moving up now that they have pick 57 from the Cooks trade. Or they could not do any of that and focus on offensive linemen and whatnot.
Many options are available to them, but whether or not a Cooks comp is available to them this month in the draft remains to be seen.
I would prefer the Rams to draft
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