When you look at the 2014 NFL Draft, you see many big names, all of which Nike Inc (NYSE:NKE) is keeping an eye on. While the company recently signed Johnny Manziel to a multiyear endorsement deal, there are many who are wondering if this was a mistake, both because of his on field abilities as well as his off the field antics.

Nike is not the type of company that has to take a run at a sleeper. Instead, it can get the biggest names in the biggest sports simply by throwing its brand around (along with quite a bit of money). That being said, it would make sense for it to keep a close watch on Brandin Cooks in the near future.

Like many, you may not know the first thing about Cooks. However, if you have ever watched him play you will soon realize that his potential to do big things in the NFL is just as high as many other players, all of whom are getting more attention from scouts and fans.

Why Should Nike Inc (NYSE:NKE) Care?

Cooks is not even considered the top prospect at the wide receiver position, but this does not change the fact that the star player from Oregon State is one of the top players in the draft.

He won the Biletnikoff Award for a reason. Last season, as a junior, he broke numerous Pac-12 single season records thanks to his 128 catches and more than 1,700 receiving yards. On top of all this, he pulled in 16 touchdowns.

What is the problem? At 5’10” and 189 pounds, many feel that he is not big enough to dominate in the NFL. This holds true despite the fact that smaller players have been changing this perception over the past few seasons.

A 4.33 second 40 yard dash at the NFL Combine definitely improved his stock, as teams are always looking for speed, especially at the wide receiver position.

Does all this mean Cooks should be a top-10 pick in the upcoming draft? Even though many consider him a safe pick, there are other receivers likely to go before him. With that in mind, look for his name to be called somewhere towards the end of the first round.

There are many reasons why Cooks is getting strong looks from any NFL team in need of receivers. Nike Inc (NYSE:NKE) may not jump on board right away, but the company is sure to keep a close watch on this rising star.

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