Some analysts said prior to this year’s draft that Florida State running back Dalvin Cook was the best running back in the 2017 draft class. But he was not selected in the first round. It took Cook until No. 41 overall in the second round, but he finally heard his name announced at the NFL Draft.
The Minnesota Vikings traded up seven spots from No. 48 to No. 41 to select Cook. There was probably a good chance that if the Vikings stayed at No. 48, Cook might have been selected by the Philadelphia Eagles or another team ahead of them.
Cook’s on the field talent cannot be argued as he was one of the best running backs to ever play for Florida State. In 2016, Cook rushed for 1765 yards and 19 touchdowns. He also caught 33 balls for 488 yards and a touchdown.
“I’m extremely excited for Dalvin and his family,” Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher said. “The Vikings are getting a tremendous player. He changed the numbers on the scoreboard for us here and was as dynamic as any running back I’ve ever been around. Dalvin can be a game changer at the next level. He’s one of the all-time greats to put on a Florida State uniform. He’s also a guy that was a great leader for us and worked as hard as anybody. He and his family deserve this awesome moment. I’m thrilled for him.”
While Cook isn’t a huge running back at 5-10, 210 pounds, he is a home run threat whenever he touches the football. The reason Cook slipped to the second round was reportedly because of off-the-field concerns.
“So the reason as far as I’m told (his slide) relates to some of the people that he hangs out with off the field,” NFL Network reporter Ian Rapoport said prior to the second round. “It’s more upbringing than character if that makes any sense. Because at this point, from what I’m told, the on-field character is very good, considered to be at Florida State an excellent teammate, a very hard worker. But some of it is the situations he puts himself in off the field. He has promised teams that the people around him are not coming with him to the NFL, and we’ll see how that puts him as far as the standing goes in the second round today.”
With Minnesota choosing to move on from future hall-of-fame running back Adrian Peterson this offseason, Cook will have an opportunity to play lot in the Vikings offense. Yes, they signed Latavius Murray during the offseason, but the team can release him after the 2017 season without any cap penalty.
Cook will finally give the Vikings a three-down back that the team can use out of the shotgun. Minnesota will also have Cook under control for four seasons at very little cost to them.
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