NFL Draft Scouting Report: Dalvin Cook

Florida State
Running Back #4
Junior, 5’10 210″

  • All-Time Leading rusher at FSU
  • Two-Time All ACC (2015 & 2016)
  • First Team All American (2016)
  • 2015 Jim Brown Award Winner (Nations Best Running Back)
  • Great pass catching back
  • Patient Runner
  • Best games were in the biggest games
  • Good vision
  • Breakaway speed
  • True home run threat out of the backfield
  • Ball Security is an issue (13 Career fumbles)
  • Two shoulder injuries
  • Not consistently strong on inside runs
  • Occasional drops
  • Off the field concerns

Dalvin Cook was one of the most highly sought after high school recruits coming out of Florida when he stepped onto campus  in 2014. Cook made an immediate impact as a freshman including a Florida State rushing record with 1,008 yards averaging over five yards per carry. Widely considered the nations most dynamic back the past two seasons, Cook is a home run threat every time he touches the ball. He is an elusive back that has the rare ability to create his own space even when properly defended.

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Cook does his best work on the edge of the defense, pressing the corner and setting up his block before showing off his speed while pulling away from defenders. On this play against Clemson, he does a great job of setting up his blocks and creating most of this play on his own. His strength is evident as is the aforementioned speed. Below is another angle of this run. His sudden quickness after setting up the block is elite and displays the vision it takes to be an NFL caliber running back.

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Cook excelled at these off tackle runs throughout his career as a Seminole. In what may have been his most impressive game as a Nole, Cook torched the Michigan defense with similar runs as the one seen below.

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Cook isn’t just a threat running the ball, he is a more then effective pass catcher out of the back field. While not lined up extensively out  wide at Florida State, Cook does line up at the top of the formation and showcases his patch catching ability.

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Below is a more traditional screen play. Notice how Cook finds his way into a clearing even as the defense recognizes the play, catches the ball with his hands and then gets into space where he is most effective. This play is one that every NFL team runs and translates well at the next level.

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One part of Cook’s game that must improve at the next level is ball security. With 13 career fumbles at Florida State Cook had a tendency to put the ball on the ground, particularly while fighting for additional yards or while running inside with traffic around him much like the play below. Though this ball was eventually recovered by Florida State, a fumble like this inside the red zone cannot become the norm for Cook like it was during his collegiate days.

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While this draft class is loaded with talented running back prospects, Cook might be the most dangerous to score on any play. While watching his tape he is the type of back that is contained for 10, 12 even 14 plays and then breaks off a monster run for 75 yards. The ability to flip field position is rare and a talent like Cook is sure to have an immediate impact as a rookie.

Games Watched: Miami 2016, N.C. State 2016, Florida 2015 and 2016, Clemson 2016, Michigan 2016 and Wake Forest 2016.

Round Value: First Round

Player Comparison:

Jamaal Charles.

I linked Charles and Cook for their similar style of running along with both of their ability to catch the ball out of the back field. For years, Charles was a threat to score each time he was in space and Cook is that type of player. While you may bottle him up for most of the game, all it takes is one defensive breakdown and Cook has shown coordinators that he can and will make you pay. If Cook can solve the fumbling issue and be a more consistent back running inside, the sky truly is the limit for the former Seminole.  

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