Raiders

Raiders

ALAMEDA –- Connor Cook was available on the third day of the NFL Draft. Hard to say many, including the Michigan State quarterback, thought that would be the case.

He was widely considered the fourth-best quarterback in this draft class, and some predicted he’d be a late first-round pick. Surely he’d be gone by third round’s end. Yet there he was on Saturday, available for the Raiders to acquire with the No. 100 overall pick.

It cost the No. 114 and No. 154 selections, but general manager Reggie McKenzie was able to add a backup to starter Derek Carr. Matt McGloin received a second-round restricted free agent tender this offseason – he’ll be the Raiders’ highest paid quarterback – and could move on next season.

Getting a player like Cook could be of value in a few years if he can be flipped for higher picks, but the Raiders hope he never plays a snap this season.

[RELATED: Raiders trade up, select Michgan State QB Connor Cook]

They probably didn’t expect him to be available in the fourth round. He was the sixth quarterback taken, a slight that didn’t escape Cook during a long, long wait.

“Anytime you see another quarterback get drafted in front of you, it hurts,” Cook said Saturday in a conference call. “I’m a competitor. Obviously, I think I’m one of the best quarterbacks in this draft class, but nothing is ever easy and nothing is ever perfect.

 

“Everything that I’ve been able to accomplish at Michigan State (was) never easy. Going on to the NFL, it’s definitely going to get a little bit harder and more difficult. It’s definitely not going to be easy. Obviously, seeing all the other quarterbacks go, it hurt, but I’m just ready to be a Raider and ready to get to business.”

The Dallas Cowboys were expected to take Cook at No. 101. He would’ve been behind a 36-year old Tony Romo. Now Cook ends up as a reserve behind a 25-year old Pro Bowler, without a clear path to a starting spot in the near future.

Some analysts believe Cook’s slide came from leadership concerns. He’s a cannon-armed quarterback who can make all the throws, but his role as a quarterback might’ve been an issue. Cook called that rubbish.

“I don’t think you can win that many games and be that successful at a program without being a leader,” Cook said. “I think all that stuff was so far from the truth. Everything will work itself out. People want to talk and say all that stuff, but they’ve never even sat down to talk to me or get to know me as a person. We were successful for a reason, and that’s pretty much all I have to say. I’m just looking forward to this whole new journey and getting a chance to be a part of a great organization and go out there and compete.”

Cook says falling in the draft will strengthen his resolve.

“It’s a lot of motivation,” Cook said. “I would say more motivation than anything. Like you said, seeing all the other quarterbacks go when you think you’re a pretty good quarterback, it just motivates you. I’m going to go into this league with a chip on my shoulder and try to earn everything that I achieve.”