Cook’s junior season also displayed his ability to be a threat in the passing game. The elusive tailback doubled his receiving yardage from 244 to 488 last fall as he emerged as a true all-around threat.
With 14.8 yards per reception in 2016, Cook proved he is a force near the line of scrimmage who can also make plays downfield.
An average performance at the 2017 NFL Combine tempered a lot of enthusiasm. Cook ran a 4.49-second 40-yard dash, slower than expected, and failed to grade out among the top performers in the rest of the event’s agility drills. That, combined with ball protection concerns (13 career fumbles), durability (torn rotator cuff in high school and front and back of his labrum while at FSU) and off-field concerns dropped him to the second round.
Why has Kizer’s personality overshadowed his on-field play?
Fighting Irish coach Brian Kelly didn’t help matters, suggesting Kizer could have benefitted from another year at Notre Dame. And then Kizer took it to another level.
“Imagine taking (Tom) Brady’s intellect and Brady’s preparation and putting it on a guy with Cam Newton’s body,” he told USA Today. Why can’t I be the greatest? The only thing stopping me from it is me. That’s what’s driving me now.”
Follow the action with our 2017 NFL draft tracker with pick-by-pick results and analysis updating in real-time for all seven rounds. The All-AAC standout is the new physical prototype for an NFL safety. At 6’4 and 224 pounds and sporting a near four-foot vertical, he has the size to compete with any receiver in the league for jump balls. While his height can leave him open to missed tackles, he does a good job of lowering his pads and wrapping up ball carriers, limiting mistakes downfield and making him a tactical weapon against the run.