5-10/201 South Carolina
Pros: Is an aggressive safety that is good coming up and defending the run. Works well in the box. Is a solid hitter that likes to mix it up and will thump receivers over the middle. Not afraid to take on blockers and will weave through traffic using his speed and quickness to make the stop. Is competent in coverage when he keeps things in front of him.
Cons: He can be overaggressive at times and will take some poor angles to the ball. Lacks size and it shows when he takes on bigger ballcarriers. Prefers to hit rather than wrap, and will miss some stops in the open field. Doesn't have the hips or quickness to match up with receivers. Doesn't show great awareness when working in zone and space. Will bite on play fakes. Overaggressiveness might lead to some penalties.
Overview: Cook is a hard-hitting strong safety candidate that is a bit too inconsistent vs. the run and lacking in coverage to be an elite prospect. Was academically ineligible for SC's bowl game and also brieﬂy was suspended by school in August 2007 after unlawful gun possession. Charges were dropped, but display character concerns.
NFL Forecast: He has upside and can be a nice enforcer at the next level. He could make a name for himself in the NFL as a fierce and feared hitter. But he needs to play more disciplined and tends to be overaggressive. Not great in coverage, and I don't think he'll ever be more than average there. Can be developed, but a bit one dimensional and is not always an impact player as a run defender on a weekly basis. He has upside, but probably will take a few years to reach it. Put him on the bench for a few years, use him on special teams, and then maybe in three years you should have a solid starter. Will be a solid starter, but will cause some headaches with the mistakes and overaggressive play, but for the most part I think teams will let that slide because he can create such an impact vs. the run.
ATL Forecast: Cook probably isn't ready to start right away this year, but if he did for the Falcons he should be a serviceable starter. He'd be best sitting a year or two and then being the starter. But he can certainly push right away. He'd be a valuable defender vs. the run for the Falcons, but doesn't have huge upside to be one an elite safety. But the upper end of his potential is perhaps as good as a player like Gibril Wilson. But he won't be as disciplined in coverage as Wilson is.
Value: Cook isn't quite consistent enough to be a first day pick, but is a solid middle round pick that would be a nice pick in the third or fourth round.
"Vincere scis, Hannibal, victoria uti nescis" -- Maharbal, 216 B.C.E.