The700Level

The700Level

Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State

Height: 5-foot-10
Weight: 210 lbs.

40-yard dash: 4.49 seconds
Bench press: 22 reps
Vertical jump: 30.5 inches
Broad jump: 116.0 inches
3-cone drill: 7.27 seconds
20-yard shuttle: 4.53 seconds

2016: 288 ATT, 1,765 YDS, 6.1 AVG, 19 TD
2015: 229 ATT, 1,691 YDS, 7.4 AVG, 19 TD
2014: 170 ATT, 1,008 YDS, 5.9 AVG, 8 TD

There is no denying Dalvin Cook has the talent and versatility the Eagles are seeking at running back. Florida State's all-time rushing leader, Cook gained 3,456 yards and scored 38 touchdowns on the ground over the past two seasons alone. The first-team All-American posted 79 receptions for 935 yards and 2 touchdowns during his college career as well.

Cook is a true dual threat, and a perfect fit for the Eagles. He has the ability and skill set to follow in the footsteps of Brian Westbrook and LeSean McCoy, who made their names in the west coast offense.

At the same time, Cook represents a huge risk with the No. 14 pick in the 2017 NFL Draft. Ball security is a serious issue, more so than most prospects. Durability is a concern as well, with a history of shoulder injuries that required surgery. Cook, who will turn 22 in August, has also run afoul of the law on numerous occasions, though the charges were either dropped or he was found not guilty in all instances.

Fumbles, injuries, arrests -- each taken individually might be easy to overlook. The combination of the three, on the other hand, is a lot to digest.

 

Problems with ball security are not uncommon coming out of college, even around the NFL these days. It's an area that can be an improved upon, and is often overlooked if the back is talented enough. Still, with 13 career fumbles, Cook is worse than most. He put the ball on the carpet 6 times in 2016 alone, or once in every 63.8 touches, according to CBSSports.com. That's roughly every 2.5 games.

Keep in mind, fumbles cost the Eagles last season. Ryan Mathews coughed up the rock while trying to put away a win over the Lions. Two weeks later, Wendell Smallwood gave life to the Cowboys with a second-half turnover. The Eagles led both teams with under four minutes to play in the fourth quarter, and both games ended up as losses. It matters.

Cook's shoulders warrant closer inspection, too, which is no doubt why the Eagles reportedly had the ball carrier to the NovaCare Complex for a visit. Three operations to repair torn labrums -- once in high school, on his left shoulder; and twice at Florida State, one each on the front and back side of the right shoulder, per CBS -- should raise questions as to whether his body can endure the punishment of an NFL workload.

Even if Eagles doctors give Cook a clean bill of health, this is a red flag. We’re not talking about a random or fluke injury here. It's been a recurring theme, requiring surgery as recently as last April.

Far more difficult to quantify will be Cook's character and discipline, which could make or break the evaluation. Two of his arrests were seven or more years ago in high school, and the charges were dropped in each case, according to NFL.com. However, Cook was found not guilty of misdemeanor battery in 2015 after allegedly punching a woman outside a bar.

What actually happened is unclear. Regardless, Cook was involved in some type of altercation, and the Eagles must ask themselves whether these are the types of situations a young man will find himself again in the future. It's not unimportant, either, especially considering the scrutiny the franchise faced after Nigel Bradham and Josh Huff were in the news for the wrong reasons.

On the field, Cook needs work in pass protection, which along with his fumbling problem, are serious knocks on a prospect at No. 14. Otherwise, there may not be a more gifted running back in the draft. That's not hyperbole, either. In 2015, Cook was named the Jim Brown Award winner for best running back in the nation.

Unfortunately, it doesn't matter how good a player is if he’s never on the field for one reason or another, or giving wins away when he is. The questions with Cook are more about the finer points than fit or ability, and without clear answers, it's difficult to conclude that he's worth the risk.

 

 

Other Eagles draft targets at No. 14:
Tennessee DE Derek Barnett
Michigan DE Taco Charlton
Ohio State CB Gareon Conley
Florida State RB Dalvin Cook
Western Michigan WR Corey Davis
Alabama LB Reuben Foster
LSU RB Leonard Fournette
Alabama TE O.J. Howard
Alabama CB Marlon Humphrey
Washington CB Kevin King
Stanford RB Christian McCaffrey
Michigan State DT Malik McDowell
UCLA DE Takkarist McKinley
Wisconsin OT Ryan Ramczyk
Washington WR John Ross
LSU CB Tre'Davious White
Clemson WR Mike Williams