Dalvin Cook has been one of the most dominant running backs in the NCAA for the past few years, and now with the NFL Combine and Draft rapidly approaching, it is time we start to take a look at the prospects who are about to embark on their journey in the NFL. The Ravens have a need at running back, and one option to fill that need is Dalvin Cook. Cook played for the Florida State Seminoles for three seasons (Freshman, Sophmore, and Junior years). He is one of the top rated backs in the country going into the draft, and would make an excellent fit for the Ravens.
While evaluating Dalvin Cook, I became very excited with what I saw. One of his best traits is his speed, which he uses to outrun defenders consistently and very easily. To add to his speed as a running back, I’ve noticed that Cook can manipulate his strides while running very seamlessly. He can go from very short steps to long strides almost instantly. This allows him to change gears and go to other speeds whenever he needs to. Cook is also strong, and he can break tackles well. He also can follow the blocks his offensive line gives him, and is able to juke out defenders quite easily, and it is very entertaining to watch. Cook is also a great receiving back, and is very versatile he had over 400 yards receiving this past season, and in all three of his seasons at FSU he has been over 1,000 yards rushing. Cook has great awareness, and is able to keep his feet inbounds when he is running along the sideline. One of the more underrated qualities Cook has, and some other players have, is his willingness to keep moving. He plays to the whistle every play, and is always fighting for more yards. He is a team player, and did not opt out of the Orange Bowl to preserve his draft stock, he played to win with his team, which is very respectable.
Cook is a talented prospect, but like all new players, he has some weakness, although not too many. Cook has had some issues with ball security, and sometimes fumbled the ball. He also is somewhat inconsistent on his blocks. He is defiantly willing to block, but he sometimes misses his chances to protect the quarterback, and needs to improve on that when he gets to the NFL. Finally, Dalvin Cook has dealt with a few injuries, especially with his shoulder. If he can stay healthy in the NFL, he can be a star.
His Fit on the Ravens
If the Ravens draft Dalvin Cook, they will likely do so in the first round. Cook could be the next great running back in the league, but the Ravens need to decide whether or not they want to spend their first round pick on a running back, when they have two promising backs in Kenneth Dixon and Terrance West. Ozzie Newsome, the Ravens General Manager, is known to pick the best prospect on the board available, so if Cook falls to the Ravens as their best prospect for that pick, they are going to take him. Drafting Cook would help tremendously in fixing the running game, and balancing the broken offense fans saw last season. Cook could easily be a 1,000 yard rusher in his rookie year, and if that is so, the Ravens certainly would be happy to have drafted him. Cook could provide stability to a key position that has been turned over many times since the departure of Ray Rice.
Overall, I give Dalvin Cook a 4.8/5.0 prospect rating. He has the experience of competing for titles at FSU, and has been one of the best backs in college football for a while. Cook is looking at a bright future in the NFL. He is one of the best prospects coming out of college this season, and it will be interesting to see if the Ravens draft him. If they do, they are putting their money in the right place, as I see Dalvin Cook having a high chance of success in the NFL.