Brandin Cooks Among Best Offensive Fits For Patriots In 2014 NFL Draft

Brandin CooksNew England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick certainly has his type when it comes to the NFL draft. Belichick typically values size over speed when it comes to physical positions like running back and offensive line, and agility over height at wide receiver.

The combine wrapped up Tuesday, so it’s time to see which players could fit the Patriots’ typical drafting philosophy on offense.

The website MockDraftable.com was key in looking for Patriots fits among the 2014 draft prospects. The site takes a player’s measurables (size, speed, agility, explosion, strength) and compares that player to 10 other players using a percentage. For example, Clemson wide receiver Sammy Watkins is 87.2 percent similar to Jacksonville Jaguars receiver Justin Blackmon since they’re alike in height, weight, arm length, hand size, 40-yard dash, bench press, vertical jump and broad jump.

Check out the three best fits per position for the Patriots in this year’s draft.

TIGHT END

C.J. Fiedorowicz, Iowa
6-foot-5, 265 pounds

Compares to: Rob Gronkowski (77.1 percent), Michael Hoomanawanui (91.7 percent)

Projected round: Second-third round

Combine highlights: 7.10-second three-cone drill and 4.26-second short shuttle led all tight ends.

Fit: Fiedorowicz could serve as insurance for Gronkowski. The Iowa prospect has enough athleticism to be on the field at the same time as Gronkowski, as well.

Logan Thomas, Virginia Tech
6-foot-6, 248 pounds

Compares to: Gronkowski (77.1 percent)

Projected round: Third-fourth round

Combine highlights: Top five among tight ends in the 40-yard dash, vertical jump, broad jump, three-cone and short shuttle.

Fit: Thomas has little experience catching the football since he played quarterback at Virginia Tech, but given his athleticism and size, he’d be a great project at tight end.

Arthur Lynch
6-foot-5, 258 pounds

Compares to: Hoomanawanui (81.6 percent)

Projected round: Fourth round

Combine highlights: Top 10 performer in every drill among tight ends.

Fit: Similar to Fiedorowicz, Lynch could serve as insurance for Gronkowski while possessing the athleticism to stay on the field in passing and blocking situations.

RUNNING BACK

Carlos Hyde, Ohio State
6-foot, 230 pounds

Compares to: Stevan Ridley (82 percent), LeGarrette Blount (72.8 percent)

Projected round: Second round

Combine highlights: Showed quick feet and balance in positional drills despite running a subpar 4.66-second 40-yard dash.

Fit: If Blount isn’t re-signed by the Patriots, New England could use a big, every-down running back who can catch. Ridley and Blount were almost too similar last season, since both had limited value on passing downs.

Bishop Sankey
5-foot-9, 209 pounds

Compares to: Shane Vereen

Projected round: Second-third round

Combine highlights: Finished top five in the bench press, broad jump, three-cone and short shuttle while running a 4.49-second 40-yard dash.

Fit: Sankey proved he could handle the load at Washington. He also could provide another pass-catching option out of the backfield for the Patriots.

Jeremy Hill, LSU
6-fo0t-1, 233 pounds

Compares to: Blount (71.4 percent)

Projected round: Seventh round

Combine highlights: Solid 1.56-second 10-yard split for a 233-pound back.

Fit: The Patriots have gone to the LSU well for running backs in the past. If New England can’t re-sign Blount, Hill could serve as a similar option who can catch out of the backfield.

WIDE RECEIVER

Brandin Cooks, Oregon State
5-foot-10, 189 pounds

Compares to: Deion Branch (75.7 percent), Julian Edelman (73.6 percent)

Projected round: First-second round

Combine highlights: Topped wide receivers in the 40-yard dash, short shuttle and 60-yard shuttle.

Fit: If the Patriots can’t re-sign Edelman and need a prototypical, playmaking Z-receiver, Cooks could be their guy at the end of the first round.

Allen Robinson, Penn State
6-foot-3, 220 pounds

Compares to: David Givens (89.6 percent)

Projected round: Second-third round

Combine highlights: Ran the short shuttle in 4.00 seconds at 220 pounds.

Fit: He’s not the fastest receiver, but he’s a big target who can fight for the ball. He played in Bill O’Brien’s offense with the Nittany Lions.

Damian Copeland, Louisville
5-foot-11, 184 pounds

Compares to: Edelman (79.9 percent)

Projected round: Seventh round

Combine highlights: Led receivers with a 6.53-second three-cone drill.

Fit: The Patriots are always looking for quick, agile slot receivers. Copeland could be a fit in the late rounds.

OFFENSIVE LINE

Billy Turner, North Dakota State
6-foot-5, 315 pounds

Compares to: Dan Connolly (87.2 percent)

Projected round: Second-third round

Combine highlights: Among the top offensive linemen with a 9-foot broad jump.

Fit: Turner was a college tackle who could convert to an NFL guard. He would provide depth across the offensive line.

Charles Leno, Boise State
6-foot-4, 303 pounds

Compares to: Dan Connolly (91.4 percent), Matt Light (81.3 percent)

Projected round: Fourth-fifth round

Combine highlights: Finished top five among offensive linemen with a 4.40-second short shuttle.

Fit: Leno played tackle at Boise State, but he likely projects as a guard in the NFL. The Patriots could be looking for a starting center or right guard.

Trai Turner, LSU
6-foot-3, 310 pounds

Compares to: Donald Thomas (80.1 percent)

Projected round: Sixth-seventh round

Combine highlights: Finished top five among offensive linemen with a 4.93-second 40-yard dash.

Fit: Could provide depth and upside as a highly athletic guard.

QUARTERBACK

Logan Thomas, Virginia Tech
6-foot-6, 248 pounds

Compares to: Tim Tebow (67.1 percent)

Projected round: Third-fourth round

Combine highlights: Proved to be the most athletic quarterback at the combine.

Fit: If the Patriots don’t draft Thomas to immediately convert him to tight end, offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels could take him under his wing to see if he can improve the Virginia Tech quarterback’s passing ability.

Conor Shaw, South Carolina
6-foot, 206 pounds

Compares to: Zac Robinson (76.6 percent)

Projected round: Sixth round

Combine highlights: Finished top five among quarterbacks in the 40-yard dash, vertical leap, broad jump and three-cone drill.

Fit: Shaw doesn’t resemble Tom Brady, but neither did former Brady backups Robinson, Kevin O’Connell or Rohan Davey. Shaw had just one interception in his senior season with the Gamecocks.

Tom Savage, Pittsburgh
6-foot-4, 228 pounds

Compares to: Matt Gutierrez (84.3 percent)

Projected round: Sixth-seventh round

Combine highlights: Not exactly a workout warrior.

Fit: Savage fits in the big, statuesque mold of Brady or Ryan Mallett. He bounced around to different schools in college but could be an interesting project in the late rounds.

Click here for the Patriots’ defensive fits >>

Have a question for Doug Kyed? Send it to him via Twitter at @DougKyedNESN or send it here.

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