Dalvin Cook, Running Back, Florida State (5-foot-10, 210-pounds)
Every college football fan remembers what the big debate was in 2015 and 2016 when it came to the running back position: “Leonard Fournette or Dalvin Cook, who is better?” Well, we’re about to find out, since (in the fictional world of this mock draft) the Carolina Panthers selected Fournette with the eighth overall pick. This means that twice a year in the NFC South, we’ll see Cook and his Buccaneers versus Fournette’s Panthers. Getcha popcorn ready!
Despite Leonard Fournette and Christian McCaffrey being picked ahead of him, many consider Dalvin Cook to be the most gifted running back in this draft class. In fact, Pro Football Focus (PFF) has Cook ranked as their top overall draft eligible running back in 2017. PFF also ranks Cook as the second running back in the nation in “elusive rating”, which is a formula that takes in account the number of missed tackles per touches (running and receiving) as well as the number of yards recorded after contact.
In three years at Florida State, Dalvin Cook rushed 687 times for an outstanding 4,464 yards (6.49 yards-per-carry). Even more impressive is the fact that according to PFF, 2,304 of these yards came after contact, emphasizing Cook’s incredible physical play. By comparison, Leonard Fournette, who is 20 pounds heavier than Cook, recorded 1,874 yards-after-contact in his three years at LSU, over 400 yards less than the former Seminole ball-carrier. Further padding his resume, Dalvin Cook has improved as a receiver every year at Florida State, going from 22 receptions and 203 yards as a freshman in 2014 to 33 receptions and 488 yards in his junior season. With a quarterback of the caliber of Jameis Winston in Tampa, Cook figures to be a big part of the short passing game.
The selection of Dalvin Cook here by the Buccaneers is a perfect combination of “Best player available” and “Dire need at the position.” Current number one running back Doug Martin is coming off a terrible 2016 season in which he struggled to the tune of 144 rushes for 421 yards (2.9 yards-per-carry) and only three touchdowns. To make matters worse, Martin was caught using performance-enhancing drugs and suspended for four games, three of which he will have to serve at the start of the 2017 NFL season. Suffice it to say that having a player of the caliber of Dalvin Cook to carry the mail while Martin is out would be quite a boon for the Pirates and in the end, it wouldn’t be a total surprise to see Cook supplant Martin as the starting running back in Tampa.
Do you agree with the Buccaneers taking Dalvin Cook?
This poll is closed
Community Mock Draft Results
- Cleveland Browns - Myles Garrett, DE, TAMU
- San Francisco 49ers - Marshon Lattimore, CB, Ohio State
- Chicago Bears - Jamal Adams, S, LSU
- Jacksonville Jaguars - O.J. Howard, TE, Alabama
- Tennessee Titans - Malik Hooker, S, Ohio State
- New York Jets - Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson
- Los Angeles Chargers - Solomon Thomas, DE, Stanford
- Carolina Panthers - Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU
- Cincinnati Bengals - Jonathan Allen, DE, Alabama
- Buffalo Bills - Tre’Davious White, CB, LSU
- New Orleans Saints - Derek Barnett, DE, Tennessee
- Cleveland Browns - Mitch Trubisky, QB, UNC
- Arizona Cardinals - Patrick Mahomes, QB, Texas Tech
- Philadelphia Eagles (via Minnesota) - Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford
- Indianapolis Colts - Ryan Ramcyzk, OT, Wisconsin
- Baltimore Ravens - Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan
- Washington Redskins - Reuben Foster, LB, Alabama
- Tennessee Titans (via LA Rams) - John Ross, WR, Washington
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State