Dalvin Cook NFL DraftQuestion marks and utter confusion are good descriptions of Florida State running back Dalvin Cook. Cook was a beast in college becoming the first running back to ever have 1,000 yards in his Freshmen year at Florida State. He was also very impressive the next two seasons surpassing 1,600 yards in both of them. In 2016 alone he had 20 total touchdowns with 2,253 total yards, impressive I know. So when will Cook’s name be called in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft? Never.
If you don’t believe me that I think Cook falls to round 2 of the NFL draft, then please check out my Mock NFL Draft for Gridiron Experts. So how can a player with so much college production not go in the first round of the NFL Draft? Question marks and NFL teams and coaches hate question marks.
In case you didn’t know this but public image is everything for the NFL. With this being said why on earth would an NFL team take a chance on a player with so many question marks and a cloudy past. Now I understand there are two sides to every story but also certain players can’t stay out of trouble.
I will say that Cook has never been found guilty but here is a list of crimes he was charged with.
- (2015) Misdemeanor Battery
- (2014) Violation of Animal Care
- (2010) Firing and Possession of a weapon on school property
- (2009) Robbery
Investing a first-round pick in a player with a laundry list of off-field issues may scare teams away since the NFL is worried about its image and rightfully so.
Another major question mark surrounding Cook is his injury history. There is no doubt NFL teams will have a close eye on Cook’s medical checks before the draft. Running back is a tough position to play and it puts a real toll on the body to anyone who plays it. Cooks had issues with his hamstrings in 2015 not to mention the three shoulder surgeries he has had since high school. While he was in high school he tore his rotator cuff, then tore the front part of his labrum in 2014 and the back part of his labrum in 2016. Having a body that will be able to hold up to the pounding an NFL running back deals with is extremely important to many coaches and scouts. So can you really blame a team for doubting his ability to be a first-round running back?
So the first two question marks were Off-Field issues and Injuries which leaves the last and biggest question mark.
Yes, last but certainly not least. Now every Cooks truther out there will harp on his game tape or his numbers. When I watch his tape I see a below average pass blocker who struggles running between the tackles and fumbles a ton. He is afraid to square up defenders blitzing and had 13 career fumbles or good for about one fumble every 63 touches or second worst in this running back class. The two easiest ways Rookie running backs find their way in the coaches dog house? Fumbles and poor pass blocking.
With that being said NFL coaches make exceptions for players who are terrific athletes, Cook is not an exceptional athlete. If you don’t understand what an SPARQ score is, think of it as a SAT test for athletes. It stands for Speed, Power, Agility, Reaction, and Quickness. Cook’s SPARQ score has him in the bottom 9th percentile of all NFL running backs. That’s horrible. There has never been an NFL running back taken in the first round who was underneath the 25th percentile according to SPARQ. Now, that’s eye opening.
Ok so let’s circle back to the beginning. We have a running back who is loved by some and disliked by others. His college stats suggest he will be an NFL stud but his NFL Combine numbers, off-field issues, and injury concerns have many NFL teams worrying about taking him in the first round. Why would a team draft a guy with so many question marks surrounding him when there are a ton of running backs in this draft class? At the end of the day if I was an NFL team there is no way I would even consider drafting Cook in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft with all his question marks surrounding him.
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Mitchell is working full-time as Senior Writer & On-Air Talent at Chat Sports in Dallas, TX. Mitchell is a Head Writer at Gridiron Experts and Co-Host of the Empire Fantasy Podcast. He also is a featured fantasy writer for the Fantasy Footballers and FantasyPros. Mitchell has a Ph.D. in Fantasy Football so give him a follow on Twitter @MitchellRenz365.