With the 2017 NFL Draft still more than a few weeks away, there are dozens of potential targets for the Detroit Lions with the 21st pick of the first-round. Based on recent projections, along with team need, I will be highlighting individual players whom the team could be interested in. Today, we look at Dalvin Cook, the electrifying playmaker from Florida State.
Lions Prospect Profile: RB Dalvin Cook – F.S.U.
Position: Running Back
Size: 5-foot-10, 210 Lbs
Analysis: Dalvin Cook represents the flashy aspect of the NFL Draft. He’s lightning quick, insanely productive, plus, he could potentially become a superstar in the right situation. Some think he goes top-15, although, others say late-first. Cook catches the ball out of the backfield with ease, something that’s extremely important in the professional game today.
He’s not a bruiser, but at 210 lbs, he’s stronger than he appears. You could say he is a scat-back, but I think he’s more than that. He reminds me of Chris Johnson during his years in Tennessee — when he would just explode for monster gains and huge yardage totals. Cook ran a 4.49, 40-yard-dash time, which is great but not as fast as you would imagine from watching him on tape.
Cook rushed for 1,765, 19 TDs, and added 33 catches for 488 yards, totaling well over 2,200 all-purpose yards. He isn’t just a speed guy, he could potentially be a dual-threat weapon like Jamaal Charles or Le’Veon Bell in the right system.
Why He Makes Sense For Lions: As recently chronicled in my five offseason running back options article, Cook could be too dangerous to pass up. Yes, the Lions have a nice stable — with Zach Zenner, Ameer Abdullah and Theo Riddick — but Cook seems like a logical fit to be the bell cow for Detroit.
The Lions recently upgraded their offensive line, adding Rick Wagner and T.J. Lang in free agency. This takes away any likelihood of the team selecting another offensive lineman early in the draft. The Lions emulated the Cowboys and now, they can add the final piece with a do-it-all weapon like Dalvin Cook. It’d be similar to what the Cowboys did with Ezekiel Elliott in 2016.
On the opposite side, the Lions were thriving early in the season when Abdullah and Riddick were both healthy, and while it’s a small sample size, you can’t afford to risk a luxury pick in the first-round. It comes down to whether they think Abdullah has a high enough ceiling to carry the load at RB next season.
Adding what is nearly a sure-thing with Cook makes sense, nonetheless. Should the Lions make a splash, or is linebacker too big a need? Watch his impressive highlights from F.S.U. below and judge for yourself.