Why Dalvin Cook At 9 Could Make Sense For Bengals:
The Bengals brought Florida State running back Dalvin Cook in for a visit last week. A few weeks ago, my Prime formula listed Cook as the no. 1 overall running back prospect for the Bengals. The general consensus is that most Bengals fans view Cook as a reach at nine, or favor other positions/players in the draft. I’m here to explain why Dalvin Cook not only isn’t a reach but would make sense for the Bengals.
In my opinion, Dalvin Cook is the best running back in this draft class. Although I’m a Cincinnati native, I currently live in Tallahassee, Florida. For the past two seasons, Dalvin Cook has literally carried Florida State to consecutive ten win seasons. Without him, they may have only won half of those games.
For some reason, Cook has never received the national spotlight he deserved in college. Cook was snubbed as a Heisman candidate two years in a row even after putting up similar numbers to Ezekiel Elliot and Leonard Fournette. Most believe Cook was and is being snubbed by experts due to off-field concerns. This has resulted in the chip the size of a boulder for Cook to finally get the respect he deserves.
Actually being in Tallahassee and being in the know, most of his “off-field concerns” are being blown out of proportion as they always have with FSU players. Most people bring up the misdemeanor battery case with Cook from 2015. What they don’t bring up is that Cook was found not guilty and why he was found not guilty. Cook’s trial lasted close to 10 hours and key witnesses were able to prove the accusation was not credible.
Cook’s attorney pointed out the inconsistencies within Goehagan’s story and pointed out the fact she didn’t need medical attention after the altercation. All witnesses, including Geohegan, admitted the incident escalated when she struck wide receiver Travis Rudolph in the head after he went to walk away. The jury reached their decision in less than 25 minutes.
People also bring up the pellet gun incident which also was much ado about nothing when players like Cam Robinson and Tim Williams were caught with actual firearms. Not only has Cook not avoided addressing the concerns with teams, he has shown the initiative to be open and honest with teams about them.
Cook has consistently dominated in the pro-style offense at Florida State for three consecutive seasons. He not only passed Warrick Dunn as the all-time Florida State leader in rushing yards (4,464), he finished top six in the NCAA in rushing yards two years in a row. Cook has even outperformed draftmate Leonard Fournette averaging 1,500 yards per season. Not to mention he did all of this with a bad offensive line at Florida State.
NFL Caliber Skills
Cook is built for success as a runner at the next level. Although he’s only 210 pounds, Cook showed in college he can handle a full workload as a three-down back. He has the ability to run inside and out, pass block and catch out of the backfield. With his combination of elite vision and break away speed, Cook is able to flourish in zone, power, and gap schemes. Cook would be a great weapon for Andy Dalton in the Bengals’ offense when teamed with AJ Green.
With Gio suffering an ACL injury last season, someone will have to fill the void left if he is unable to return immediately. I love Gio and believe the Bengals shouldn’t rush him back. Gio is a huge asset to Dalton and Cook could help ease his return and could both play together. There are concerns about Cook’s durability as well, but I’ve witnessed him play a game after he tore his hamstring. Most running backs would’ve sat out for 1-3 games with that type of injury. I only have Cook down for missing one game in his entire collegiate career while players like Alvin Kamara have missed five games or more due to injury.
Dalvin Cook has been graded by most as one of the top players for the 2017 NFL Draft. Cook currently ranks 7th on NFL.com, 9th by PFF and 11th by CBS. There were rumors of Cook falling to the second round, but in my opinion, I believe this rumor was a smoke screen for several reasons.
One is that Jalen Ramsey may convince the Jaguars to draft Cook as high as fourth. Another is that there is absolutely no way Jameis Winston would let Cook get by the Bucs in the draft. It’s also hard to believe a team like the Detroit Lions would pass on Cook. Also, all of the teams Cook has visited with are picking in the top 15. Depending on the scenario, Cook could easily be the highest rated player on the Bengals’ board at nine and if they pick him the benefits would prove to be fruitful.