Brandin Cooks trade: How the Rams can use the second-round 2020 NFL Draft pick acquired from the Texans

The Los Angeles Rams flipped Brandin Cooks and a 2022 fourth-round pick to the Houston Texans for a 2020 second-round selection, No. 57 overall, in the latest example of Bill O’Brien’s inconceivable omnipotence over the Houston organization. Still without a first-round pick due to the Jalen Ramsey trade, the Rams suddenly have two choices in the top 60, a nice luxury for a team that hasn’t been shy about trading away early elections over the past few years and lost Cory Littleton, Dante Fowler, and Nickell Robey-Coleman in free agency to go along with the release of Todd Gurley.  

Let’s look at some prospect possibilities for Los Angeles with their second selection in Round 2: 

Wide receiver

  • Arizona State’s Brandon Aiyuk, Penn State’s K.J. Hamler, Florida’s Van Jefferson

This group represents the Sean McVay “type” at wide receiver, and my comparison for Aiyuk is actually Robert Woods. Given his tiny frame, explosive burst off the line, and elite downfield coupled with flashes of freaky YAC skills, it wouldn’t be crazy to see a lot of Cooks in K.J. Hamler. No. 57 overall would be a touch high for Jefferson, especially because he’s nursing a foot injury, but his route-running is razor sharp.

  • USC’s Michael Pittman, Notre Dame’s Chase Claypool, Michgan’s Donovan Peoples-Jones

If McVay wants to diversify the style in his receiver group after moving Cooks, he could be enticed by the size element in one of these three receivers likely picked in this range. Pittman is the best, most well-rounded of the bunch; Claypool gives you more rebounding ability at a legitimate 6-foot-4 and 238 pounds with a 40.5-inch vertical; and Peoples-Jones is crazy explosive just never reached his potential at Michigan.


  • Mississippi State’s Willie Gay, Colorado’s Davion Taylor, Oregon’s Troy Dye

All three of these linebackers can really run and cover. Gay ran 4.46 at 6-1 and 243 pounds at the combine. That’s freaky. Taylor is somewhat new to the game of football but has a pretty polished game considering that, was flexed out at corner often at Colorado, and ran 4.49 and 228 pounds. Dye will probably go later than No. 57 overall, but he is the smoothest coverage linebacker in the class. The Rams need another coverage specialist at this position after Littleton’s departure. 


  • Temple’s Matt Hennessy, Wisconsin’s Tyler Biadasz

Yes, the Rams picked Brian Allen in the fourth round two years ago. No, he does not have a secure grasp on the starting center spot. McVay needs a highly athletic pivot in his zone-blocking scheme, and Hennessy and Biadasz are the two most effortless, twitchy movers at that position in the class. For the record, give me Hennessy over Biadasz. Better pass-protection balance. But both need to get stronger. 

Edge Rusher

  • Alabama’s Terrell Lewis, Notre Dame’s Julian Okwara

These are two long, athletic edge rushers with high-end flashes but not much consistency. Lewis battled through a myriad of injuries at Alabama and Okwara’s 2019 season ended prematurely due to injury as well. If the Rams want length and athleticism at the position, they’ll likely go with one of these players

  • Boise State’s Curtis Weaver, Tennessee’s Darrell Taylor

If Los Angeles is into more girth, point of attack power, and overall consistency, Weaver or Taylor would make perfect sense. Weaver was crazy productive for all three of his seasons at Boise State, and can win in a variety of ways around the corner. Taylor isn’t quite as reliable game-to-game, but it was hard to find a contest on film in which he didn’t chip in with at least a handful of quality rushes to the quarterback. 

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