Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State
(Note: This pick was made before the Marshawn Lynch news broke, not sure if it would’ve swayed my opinion either way because I think Lynch would play one season at most.)
I had every intention of coming out of this pick with a defensive player. I know the Raiders biggest needs are at linebacker, defensive line, and a few secondary spots. But then Dalvin Cook fell while none of the guys I was thinking about drafting did. So instead of filling a need, I took (in my opinion) the best player available who also happens to fill the need left by Latavius Murray.
To say Cook was an impactful player for Florida State would be an understatement. He broke the all-time rushing record of 3,959 yards held by Warrick Dunn by over 500 yards. Oh and he did that in only 3 seasons.
He averaged over 6 yards a carry for his career. He’s an excellent receiver out of the backfield. He doesn’t get caught from behind. He has a good build and he can be a three down guy. So why is falling in drafts? There’s actually a few reasons. Firstly is the (mostly) false narrative of him being injury prone. Cook only missed one game in college due to an ankle injury, and he had a hamstring issued that lingered for a while during the season but he played through it. Secondly there seems to be some character concerns. He was arrested as a juvenile and charged with robbery in 2009 but the case was dropped. He was arrested for firing and possessing a weapon on school property, charges were dropped. He was charged with criminal mischief following an incident involving a BB-gun with several other players. Then of course, there’s the battery charge in which a woman claimed to have been punched by Cook while he was trying to pacify the situation. The state had no evidence or indication that he actually assaulted anyone. He was acquitted in less than 30 minutes. Lastly, and the reason I think he’s falling as of late, is his combine performance. Cook ran a 4.49 forty which was slower than a lot of scouts thought he would run. He also had a very poor 3 cone, and 20 yard shuttle, which is surprising if you’ve watched his game film. Seriously, I could post loads of gif’s showcasing this guy, his tape is certainly not lacking.
He did redeem himself somewhat at his pro day. His forty didn’t improve much as scouts had him in the mid 4.4 range. But what he did in the receiving drills is what had scouts excited. Raider running backs accounted for 108 targets last year.
Latavius Murray was Oakland’s leading rusher last season at only 788 yards. He’s in Minnesota now. Jalen Richard and DeAndre Washington will both be back and they both averaged over 5 yard per carry last season but I don’t think either of them are true every down ‘backs. Oakland is loaded with receiver talent, offensive line talent and Derek Carr is a top 10 Quarterback. Oakland was ranked 6th offensively, give them a guy who can come in and carry the ball 15-20 times a game with success and they instantly become a top 5 offense. This draft is loaded with defensive talent as well so if the draft played out this way, expect Oakland to draft defense in rounds 2 and on.
All of this makes it seem like Dalvin Cook is a bit of a gamble (who better to gamble than the Sin City Raiders) but none of the prospects left felt as "safe" to me. I’m trusting game film instead of combine numbers. I don’t think you can just throw them out, but the tape makes me feel like the combine is a bit of an anomaly. Cook is the BPA and a perfect fit for the Raiders.
Seriously, watch this:
The Houston Texans are on the clock…
2017 BGN Mock Draft Order
1) Browns (JALupowitz): Myles Garrett, DE, Texas A&M
2) 49ers (sports00fan00): Solomon Thomas, DE, Stanford
3) Bears (gubby): Jonathan Allen, DT, Alabama
4) Jaguars (TheWhalwing): Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU
5) Titans (drc242): Jamal Adams, S, LSU
6) Jets (boomorbust): Marshon Lattimore, CB, Ohio State
7) Chargers (NowWhat?): Malik Hooker, S, Ohio State
8) Panthers (B-Potts): Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan
9) Bengals (Kiko’s Delivery Service): Reuben Foster, LB, Alabama
10) Bills (jimmyrustler): O.J. Howard, TE, Alabama
11) Saints (NotSoSlick): Taco Charlton, DE, Michigan
12) Browns (Straight Edge Sid): Mike Williams, WR, Clemson
13) Cardinals (Paulie97): Haason Reddick, LB, Temple
14) Eagles (ablesser88): Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford
15) Colts (mconner96): Derek Barnett, DE, Tennessee
16) Ravens (The Man, The Myth, the Matthews!): Zach Cunningham, LB, Vanderbilt
17) Washington (kbruneault): John Ross, WR, Washington
18) Titans (mchiodo): JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR USC
19) Buccaneers (ei78): Jabrill Peppers, S, Michigan
20) Broncos (NVEagleShark): Ryan Ramczyk, OT, Wisconsin
21) Lions (Shark Fighter): Marlon Humphrey, CB, Alabama
22) Dolphins (J. Wil): Forrest Lamp, OG, Western Kentucky
23) Giants (BigWardy59): Dion Dawkins, OT, Temple
24) Raiders (big DUB): Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State
25) Texans (GotFunds):
26) Seahawks (Rogmcc23):
27) Chiefs (B1G Cat):
28) Cowboys (RegalEagle):
29) Packers (Wutang_):
30) Steelers (General_Lee12):
31) Falcons (SirJon):
32) Saints (Huffs_cellmate):