|Photo: Miami New Times|
The Minnesota Vikings kicked off the 2017 NFL Draft by trading up to select Florida State RB Dalvin Cook.
Updated: April 28th, 2016 7:25pm
By: Daniel House
By: Daniel House
The Minnesota Vikings traded up with the Cincinnati Bengals to select Florida State running back Dalvin Cook. Minnesota used one of their two fourth round picks (#128) in the trade to select the running back.
Cook earned All-ACC First Team honors and was the Doak Walker Award finalist in 2016. He is also the Florida State career rushing yard and touchdown leader. Cook rushed for 1,765 yards and added 488 receiving yards through the air in 2016. His ability to create plays after the catch is what makes him impressive as a receiver.
He has excellent vision to bounce to the outside and is phenomenal when he can cut laterally. His vision was one of his most impressive attributes when I watched his tape against South Florida and the Orange Bowl game vs. Michigan. He was widely projected to be a top-15 pick throughout most of the draft process, but slid down the board due to multiple off-the-field incidents. He was found not guilty of a battery charge and allegedly brandished a firearm at a neighbor, but that charge was dropped.
He rushed for 266 yards against South Florida last season and had several games where he single-handedly dominated his opponent. Cook was able to bounce to the outside and accelerate, while physically running through defenders. When he gets the edge, his explosiveness takes over. He didn’t particularly have a great offensive line at Florida State, but generated yards after contact on a consistent basis. He had the second highest yards after contact statistic among all FBS running backs, according to Pro Football Focus.
He will enter a situation where the Vikings couldn’t run the ball well last year because of poor offensive line play. Not to mention, Cook consistently ran out of the shotgun, which is something the Vikings haven’t done well recently. It will be even more of an asset with Sam Bradford being in the shotgun on a consistent basis.
The main concerns with Cook start with ball security and limited route running experience. Cook had ball security issues with 13 career fumbles and hasn’t had much experience running routes in the Florida State system. However, he is a special talent whose open field acceleration, vision, and patience make him one of the top running backs in the entire draft. The value the Vikings got by selecting Cook at pick 41 is extremely impressive.
Minnesota will pair Dalvin Cook with free agent signee Latavius Murray and third down running back Jerick McKinnon. The Vikings essentially found a running back for the future to take the role Adrian Peterson held for the last decade.