One quarterback that’s been getting a lot of interest lately is Connor Cook coming out of Michigan State, who has already worked out for the Dallas Cowboys and Miami Dolphins, will do one for the San Francisco 49ers and has also met with the Los Angeles Rams and Cleveland Browns.
Cook was a first-team All-Big Ten selection in 2015 and on the second team in the two previous seasons, being the starter for the Spartans on his three final years in East Lansing, leading them to a couple of Big Ten championships and one Rose Bowl win, where he won the MVP. In terms of his passing ability, arm strength and vision, teams are quite excited. He also seems like he’ll fit in quite well with the offensive systems at the pro level. He can also run pretty well to make short gains when no one expects it. When he’s in the pocket, he reads the game very well and anticipates things on a high level.
But there are two issues with Cook which teams are trying to figure out about. One is his insistence on forcing plays, especially when the pocket collapses or he moves outside it. He isn’t exactly an interception machine (21 in the last three years), but seems to be unable to avoid throwing passes into high traffic for no particular reason a couple of times or more in each game. But teams seem to be a bit more concerned about his personality.
Cook is getting mixed reviews for his different personality, whatever that means. The Archie Griffin incident following Michigan State’s victory in the Big Ten title game might have been just an awkward moment and Cook did apologize for it, but it only happened after the pressure on him from the social media. Teams are concerned about whether or not he’ll be able to fit in with teammates in an NFL locker room, and him being a quarterback leads to his leadership skills being questioned, which reminds me at least of Draft Day and Bo Callahan.
Cook threw for 3131 yards in his senior season with Michigan State, hitting for 24 touchdown passes and 7 interceptions. He completed 56.1% of his pass attempts, a low for him as a starter, but also coming on a career high 408 pass attempts. Cook isn’t going to be a high pick. But in the first round? Possibly, depending on how the draft develops, but right now he isn’t one of the top two quarterbacks on the board, and maybe lower than that.