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Sam’s Film Room: Dalvin Cook is a first round running back despite poor showing at NFL Combine

Capitol One Orange Bowl - Florida State v Michigan Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images

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Dalvin Cook was a five-star recruit in the 2014 class and he had offers from the Florida Gators and Florida State Seminoles, but chose the Seminoles after doing the “Gator Chomp” in multiple interviews. His patience and quickness should get him drafted in the first round despite a poor combine performance in which he scored in the 9th percentile by SPARQ analytics.

Overall, he is an excellent back and has some of the best hands out of the backfield of anyone I’ve scouted in the past few years. His ability to set up blocks and run from any scheme and formation will make him an immediate asset in the NFL. The biggest knocks on Cook are his durability, character concerns with multiple run-ins with the police, and his fumble history (13) in college. Despite his weaknesses and his poor combine performance, his ability to create behind Florida State’s awful offensive line were a highlight for the Seminoles.

From a pro comparison standpoint, I compare him favorably to Jamaal Charles of the Kansas City Chiefs. Both running backs have the ability to seamlessly shift gears to create in space. They both had a history of fumbles and injuries as well. Cook did not match Charles’ 4.36 40-yard dash, notching a time of 4.49, but he has shown on tape that he is an explosive and fluid athlete.

Personally, I gave him a late first round grade and while that is lower than most, I want as little risk from my first round selections as possible. I can easily see him getting picked in the middle of the first round by a team like Philadelphia Eagles where they would put him in the Darren Sproles-role for the offense. I can’t imagine Cook falling to the Seattle Seahawks at 26, but he would do wonders in Darrell Bevell’s offense if he did and they were comfortable selecting him.