If the Bucs can, they should grab FSU’s Cook

by Gary Shelton on April 27, 2017 · 0 comments

in general

If Cook is there., the Bucs shouldn't hesitate./ANDREW J. KRAMER

If Cook is there., the Bucs shouldn't hesitate./ANDREW J. KRAMER

You grab him, because he's there.

You grab him, because he's a home-run hitter in the fielder's choice part of the draft.

You grab him, because he will touch the ball more times a game than anyone else available.

You grab him, because you can.

The Tampa Bay Bucs should go into tonight's draft with one mission in mind: Tackle the Cook. Bring him home. Don't overthink it.

Because of that, Jason Licht should move like Cook against South Florida. If anyone stands between him and the podium, he should stiff-arm them  and take it to the house. And he should be darned glad he did.

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He should grab FSU's Dalvin Cook, because it's late in the first round. If the Bucs trade back a few slots, it may be later.

He should grab Cook because Doug Martin has so many question marks he looks like the Riddler.

He should grab Cook because he's the best bet to make other scouts wonder whatever they were thinking.

I know, I know. The fashion is to shy away from running backs in the top end of the draft, although I feel fairly secure that Barry Sanders and Gale Sayers and Walter Payton and Eric Dickerson and O.J. Simpson and Jim Brown would still go very high, even with the changes that make a three-down back rare.

And, yes, I know that my old friend Tom Jones wrote just the opposite. That's okay. Tom and I have talked about a great many subjects, and we often disagree. That's fair. There is an old line: If two men always agree, then one of them is not necessary. I'm aware that Tom doesn't like drafting running backs high.

Then there is this: the 19th pick in the first round isn't particularly high. And, yeah, you can wait til the third round, and you can still draft a bust. It happens.

Look, no matter who you draft, you have to look at the other players who may be available. Right now, that's all guesswork. But I like Cook better than Miami tight end David Njoku. I like him better than UConn safety Obi Melifonwu. I like him better than John Ross. I like him better than Cam Robinson.

Do you trust your eyes? Cook was one of the best 2-3 players on the field in every game he played. In the last two years, he rushed for more than 3,400 yards and scored 40 touchdowns. Granted, part of the draft is to project what he will do, not celebrate what he has done. But the other players in his cluster can't come close to matching his college career; I suspect the Bucs know that.

Of course, this is why the Bucs are considering trading back. They could have five guys they like available, and if they move back four slots, they're still going to get one of them. That's true whether Cook is still available or another team grabs him just ahead of the Bucs.

Are there concerns about Cook? Some have surfaced, like the trial that was punted out of court before his next-to-last season. (I saw one self-proclaimed draft “analyst” who said he was concerned anytime a player was charged, even if he was found not guilty, which may be the stupidest thing ever typed. Not guilty is not guilty no matter what some internet troll writes).

Still, Cook isn't anywhere close to the the situations that Joe Mixon and DeDe Westbrook are dealing with. Compared to those guys, you might as well pin a merit badge on his chest as he approaches the stage.

I'm still not convinced that Cook doesn't go before the Bucs pick. If not, I grab him with both hands. And I spend the next five minutes high-fiving.

Why should the Bucs take him?

Just maybe, because they can.

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