Connor Cook got drafted by a team and it doesn’t make a ton of sense –

6 months ago Comments Off on Connor Cook got drafted by a team and it doesn’t make a ton of sense –

With the No. 100 pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, the Oakland Raiders select Michigan State quarterback Connor Cook.

Pete Prisco gave the Raiders a C- grade for the pick. “This is a bit of a puzzling pick as the Raiders have young QB Derek Carr who is their QB today and for the future,” Prisco said.

Oakland surrendered picks No. 114 and 154 to leapfrog the Cowboys and Chiefs and get to the second pick of the fourth round in order to select Cook. On the Jimmy Johnson trade chart, it’s a win for Oakland (100 points to 96.8), but on the AV-based Chase Stuart chart at Football Perspective, it’s a pretty clear win for the Browns (6.9 points to 5.3).

The Raiders didn’t exactly have a need for a QB here given that 2014 second-rounder Carr took a major step forward last season, but it’s good value to get a player that was thought in some circles to be a possible first-round pick at the top of the fourth round. Cook should get ample time to develop as Carr’s backup now, and if he shows flashes, the Raiders could possibly move him down the line.

Cook is a player who entered his senior season with the Spartans as a candidate for the No. 1 overall pick in the draft, but a somewhat underwhelming season sent him on a trip down draft boards. Though he led Michigan State to a College Football Playoff berth, Cook regressed from his junior to senior campaigns in completion percentage (58.1 to 56.1 percent), yards per attempt (8.81 to 7.67), touchdown percentage (6.6 to 5.8 percent of throws), passer rating (149.4 to 136.6), and QBR (76.0 to 71.2).

He also suffered a shoulder injury that kept him out of MSU’s 17-14 win over Ohio State. Cook returned from the injury to face Penn State in the regular-season finale and Iowa in the Big Ten title game, leading the team to wins in both contests. However, in those two games and the College Football Playoff semifinal against Alabama, Cook went just 54 of 97 (55.6 percent) for 649 yards (6.69 per attempt), three touchdowns and three interceptions. The Spartans hung 55 points on PSU, but were held to only 16 against Iowa and got shut out by Bama.

Cook did show throughout his college career that he has NFL size (6-foot-4, 217 pounds) and a very strong arm when he steps into his throws rather than flinging the ball off his back foot, which he does on occasion when looking to go deep down the field. When able to stand tall in the pocket, he flashed excellent command of the Spartan offense, which often called on him to throw quickly over the middle or through tight windows to the sideline. However, when Cook got pushed off his spots at the top of his drop, he could get a little antsy and drop his mechanics.

Here’s what Rob Rang and Dane Brugler wrote about Cook in their scouting report on

Cook isn’t without flaw, but he shows a number of reasons to be encouraged about his potential in the NFL. Cook has the physical traits ideally suited for the pro game with tape that shows off a number of NFL throws.

There was a bunch of anonymous talk through the draft process about Cook’s “different” personality and how something seemed “off” about him, but that seems very much like the typical sort of anonymous nonsense that gets tossed around about imperfect prospects in the weeks leading up to the draft. His physical skills and production tell us much more about the type of player we should expect Cook to be in the NFL.

The Raiders traded up to land quarterback Connor Cook. (USATSI)
The Raiders traded up to land quarterback Connor Cook. (USATSI)

Connor Cook got drafted by a team and it doesn’t make a ton of sense –