Cook Grades Very, Very High

April 26th, 2017

Significant high grade.

Joe isn’t much of a stats guy, but if Joe must wade into the abyss, it is with Football Outsiders.

Joe appreciates the work Aaron Schatz and his outfit performs. The real reason Joe likes these guys is that they will be objective. It’s not uncommon for Schatz to come up with statistical results, look at them, and offer in so many words, well, this doesn’t seem correct.

(On the other hand, the PFF tribe will beat you over the head that their information is absolute, and if you detect a flaw, or question their twisted logic and wacky spreadsheets, you are nothing more than an illiterate troll.)

Nathan Forster of Football Outsiders used some geeky formula Joe has no interest in trying to decipher that grades the best running back prospects in the draft. Apparently, they have used this formula for years and found enough success with it to continue.

In this year’s draft class, their formula, per Forster, has Florida State running back Dalvin Cook as the second-best.

Dalvin’s Cook’s projection is so high because he sports an unusual combination of usage and efficiency. When a college running back is the focal point of his team’s offense, his opponents will scheme against him. Although the running back can still be efficient, it would take a unique talent to post peak efficiency numbers while carrying an unusually large load.

There have been plenty of running backs who have been used as heavily as Cook or have been as efficient as Cook, but only one running back ever who has been used as heavily and been as efficient as Cook. Ricky Williams is the only other running back prospect to ever score an AOEPS above 20 percent and to average more than 6.0 yards per attempt.

You could make a case for drafting Cook over top-ranked prospect Fournette. Although Fournette has an awesome projection, his particular profile somewhat matches other running backs who boasted great projections but ultimately disappointed. BackCAST was also high on Ron Dayne and T.J. Duckett, for example, who scored highly in large part due to unusual size/speed combinations. It is a bit harder to find a bust whose high projection, like Cook’s, had more to do with college production. Also, Cook has an excellent RecIndex, which means that even if he does not succeed as a traditional running back, he likely has some value as a Reggie Bush-type back who can catch passes out of the backfield.

This is why, for Joe, Cook separates himself from the pack. Not only did Cook shine against the best teams he faced (Clemson, Oregon, Michigan, Ole Miss, Florida), teams that clearly game-planned for him, but he was and is an every-down back. He can kill you with the pass just as easily as he can gut a defense with the run.

Also of note, the No. 5 back per Forster’s research? That would be South Florida’s Marlon Mack (rated higher than Christian McCaffrey), who the Bucs clearly had interest in early in the scouting process.

54 Responses to “Cook Grades Very, Very High”

  1. JTHV Says:

    Some team is going to get a Marshall Faulk type player in Cook. Not saying HoF’r, but very comparable type of player. 3 down RB who can kill you on the edges.

    Perfect fit for a Vertical Offense.

  2. NJBucsFan Says:

    I’d be interested in their scoring of Ameer Abdullah. Stats are very similar to Cook…just didn’t wear the Seminole on his helmet.

    I’m not 100% sure of the validity but I also read that Cook averages a fumble every 68 carries. That is awfully high if true.

  3. Supersam Says:

    Don’t matter. Eagles have all but said there taking him.

  4. DallasBuc Says:

    After a healthy hiatus the Dalvin Cook articles are back. Joe has fallen off the wagon after a commendable effort to put down the DC Kool Aid. We are all real proud of ya big guy!!

  5. EvolvingBucsFan Says:

    he’ll be the next Cadillac Williams with his beat up shoulders and injuries, he’s not durable enough for me, i’ll pass

  6. Pit Says:

    I am not sure why you guys keep having this convo. Cook will go very high in the draft and we really don’t have a chmace to take him. I really hope I am wrong but it is what it is. I would like to see mixon’s projection though

  7. NJBucsFan Says:

    I work in Philly and all the buzz is Foster and how the Conley situation changed their plans for the first pick but how they would draft him in Rd 3 and Sidney Jones in the 4th

  8. Joeypoppems Says:

    Sidney Jones will be ready by September. He will be a 2nd round pick now

  9. JTHV Says:

    EvolvingBucsFan Says:
    April 26th, 2017 at 9:17 am
    he’ll be the next Cadillac Williams with his beat up shoulders and injuries, he’s not durable enough for me, i’ll pass

    Huh? He missed 2 games in his 40-game college career, 1 due to suspension, not injury.

    I understand if you wouldn’t draft him, but to make this you argument for not doing so is completely ignoring the fact that he is as durable as any other player in this draft.

  10. Jim Says:

    “The sun will come out, tomorrow…”

  11. NJBucsFan Says:


    I agree and I hope he is a target of our trade back rumors.

  12. passthebuc Says:

    From what i have gleaned from other teams is that most do not have cook going in first round.
    Shoulder issues are of concern.

  13. Blake_bucsfan Says:

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but Football Outsiders Metrics stated that Jameis Winston had severe bust potential no?

  14. Dusthty Rhothdes Says:

    Supersam, I think the eagles may have warmed up to mccafery now…obv time will tell, but…if cook is there and licht trades out, guy has some splaining to do

  15. Dreambig Says:

    Sounds like Philly is pretty interested in Cook and Mixon. Had several workouts with both. This maybe a moot point for Bucs if Cook is gone.

  16. Dusthty Rhothdes Says:

    81% of all stats are made up 38% of the time on the spot by 67% of the people that use the stats 64% of the time, so its a statistically anomaly that stats can be construed to fit what you want 100% of the time, like the presumed winner of the 2016 presidential election by 538s nate silver, where did ol nate disappear to in to the statistician abyss?

  17. Guzzie Says:

    Cook will fall to the 2nd round, NFL GMs don’t value RBs as high as the media. So don’t get your panties in a bunch, the Bucs will draft a talented RB somewhere in the top 3 rounds. Kamara, Hunt, Foreman, Brian Hill (my favorite other than Mixon), Jeremy McNichols, Mixon, Perine (my least favorite), that’s 7 starting caliber RBs available after round 1, why waste a pick on an RB that’s athletically nit s generational talent. Dalvin Cooks game film is outstanding, his size, speed, injury concerns, character concerns, and ball security are all extremely questionable, go ahead and tell me I’m wrong

  18. Pit Says:

    Did you guys read that article that said certain ppl are trying to hurt Cook’s draft by lying about his character?

    Do you want to bet if that’s true Mr.Licht himself is behind it

  19. Joeypoppems Says:


    Same. It makes so much sense. I dont really care about who our 1st round pick (if we have one) will be, but I hope we take a shot on Sidney Jones.

  20. Guzzie Says:

    Forgot Marlon Mack that’s at least 8 starting caliber backs the Bucs can target after an elite Safety, DE, TE, OT, or even a WR in the 1st

  21. Steve from Oregon Says:


  22. Nole on Sat.-Bucc on Sun. Says:

    I wonder what number he’ll wear here in Tampa??? 💭1st round 2nd don’t make much difference to me.

  23. R.O. Says:

    Boy.. they are going out on a limb saying D.C. Ranks high.

  24. zwh99 Says:

    Honestly i don’t see the bucs getting Dalvin Cook at 19, especially if they’re trading down. I would like us to get Budda Baker if its a trade down scenario.

  25. Nole on Sat.-Bucc on Sun. Says:

    Oh an translation to the above piece. I’m the focal point of my entire team and you still can’t stop me. Just imagine how dynamic I will be when I’m not carrying the majority of the load. Fameis ME Desean DC4 maayynne, that’s a quadruplet’s unlike any that I’ve ever seen.

  26. Fred E. Bucs Says:

    How fast can he fill Gatorade cups? After his first hit from N. Suh on opening day, he’ll be in street clothes and Quizz will be carrying the load. That is, IF the draft him.

  27. EvolvingBucsFan Says:

    @JTHV why would you risk the future of our team on a back that hasn’t even played one snap and has 3 surgeries on his shoulders no less is irresponsible imo, yes ive said this multiple times today, i get your point that he hasn’t missed many games because of them, i get it, but to ignore that fact and think he won’t be more prone to injuries is misguided. What do you think he will hit the holes with in short yardage situations or take on tacklers with in this league??

    McCaffrey or Mack if they are available.

  28. Miko Says:

    looking forward to Friday…no more Dalvin Cook overdose, ugh

  29. Fred E. Bucs Says:

    Some folks say how tough Dalvin Cook is….when you talk about his injury history. I can’t disagree. And I also have to say some of the toughest guys in the NFL were seen last year…on crutches on the slidelines. JJ Watt, Adrian Peterson, Teddy Bridgwater, etc. Is Dalvin Cook tough? Yeah. Is he durable. Not so far. Is he damaged goods? Seems to be.

  30. Steve From Oregon Says:

    Cook has high moral character

    Earlier this week while driving his Prius to save the environment, Dalvin Cook was spotted taking evasive actions narrowly missing a squirrel who failed to abide by using the crosswalk.

    PFF is reporting this could only help his draft stock.

  31. Buccaneer scotty Says:

    Get over it Joe we are trading back !lol my if he’s there at 23 or something can’t wait!

  32. Steven007 Says:

    Hyperbole much? I might have been sold had the title been ‘Cook grades very, very, VERY high’. Anyway, so much space used on a RB we very likely will not draft. Where are the dedicated Mack pieces? Hunt pieces? Foreman pieces? For that matter Fournette or McCaffrey pieces? We have just as much chance to draft any of those backs (save Fournette). And what about Malik McDowell? Takk McKinley? Peppers? Conley? (both very intriguing choices now if properly vetted since they will obviously drop). It would be refreshing to see something different and not the same, tired beaten horse named Cook.

  33. gotbbucs Says:

    This damn thing can’t get done fast enough. I can’t wait for all the “told you so” posts.

    This one I hope will get crazy. I’m ready to see a draft with tons of movement and picks exchanging hands.

  34. Ben Says:

    Cook is a great player…..but even with rumors indicating the Bucs will trade down, ppl are still going nuts for this guy. I honestly believe the bucs if they trade down will take either a DE or a safety. Ppl need to get over Cook there are plenty of options at RB I dont care if the argument is most great RBs are first rounders, bc you can also say guys like Bell, Howard and Freeman are studs and there have been a ton of first round busts as well. Pass rush wins championships and the reason they lost down the stretch was bc a lack there of. You want an RB itll be Maxk or Perine day 2.

  35. Mike Johnson Says: hit the nail straight on its head my man. Matter of fact, I don’t think Cook last as long as Cadillac Williams did!
    Mixon may be a gamble, But he’s got that…Juice. If he can keep his head on straight, He’s gonna terrorize some offenses in the NFL.

  36. teacherman777 Says:

    Trade down.

    Get a 2nd, second rounder.

    Draft Sydney Jones.

    Let him heal slowly.

    Eventual Replacement for Brent Grimes.

    We need 3 Pro-Bowl quality corners if we wanna stop

    Drew Brees, Matt Ryan, Cam Newton every year.

    And the nickle back needs to be a tough tackler and tight cover guy.

    Basically the reincarnation of Ronde Barber.

  37. BrianBucs Says:

    Reports say that Dalvin Cook scored an 11 on the Wonderlic at the combine. Ugh. Still hope he ends up here though.

  38. A-Train Says:

    Why is Cook not rated higher in the Draft??

    Many teams need a RB why wouldn’t they take Cook?

  39. Bucsfanman Says:

    Steve From Oregon- You forgot to mention walking old ladies across the street and eating only “cage-free” eggs! In similar reports, his Prius is powered by solar panels!

    Is it Thursday yet?! Seriously?!

  40. Broy34 Says:

    Why in god’s name do you people actually say “Philly has said they’re all but taking him” if anything it means they’re not. Nobody has a clue who people want and if a name leaks out it means the opposite

  41. America's Commenter Says:

    @A-Train There just isn’t much value in the running back position these days in the NFL. Their careers are very short due to wear and tear and they sustain the most serious injuries along the way. Even prototypical studs like Adrian Peterson get seriously injured along the way. Regular guys like Cadillac Williams and Doug Martin just can’t stay healthy.

    There is also a lot of history showing that excellent NFL backs are available throughout the draft, so investing a first round pick isn’t necessary.

    First round picks need to be invested in players that can contribute through their second contracts. Quarterbacks, linemen, defensive backs, and wide receivers have the best chances of having longer successful careers.

  42. TampaBay AllDay Says:

    This has a Johnny Football feel to it. 1 more day

  43. briandorry55 Says:

    Well PFF has Cook rated the best running back so it sounds like you should love them.

    You’re selling me an outlet that has Marlon FUGGING Mack rated higher than Christian McCaffrey…I ain’t buying.

  44. ManzielMadness Says:

    Trade back, grab Budda Baker and Sidney Jones with our extra pick. Our Secondary is set.

  45. Maze Says:

    Well Matt Miller’s final big board say he ain’t really all that and belongs in the 2nd round. Start praying for Licht to trade up and grab the elite talent that is Christian McCaffrey kids

  46. LakeLandBuc Says:

    There is no SURE THING in this draft..they all have the potential to bust. It’s not just Dalvin Cook, this draft is full of..if this, if that.

  47. GhostofSchiano Says:

    It is being reported that Dalvin Cook held a door open for Oprah Winfrey at a charitable event. Cook even said to Oprah “Looks like a nice day out”.
    Winfrey misunderstood this comment with “You look like a good lay”.

    Roger Goodell is investigating.

    Draft stock is plummeting!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  48. Steve from Oregon Says:

    Ghost…killing it man..ha!

  49. Ajallday Says:

    DC 1st Rd. Trade backup for Budda Baker.

  50. Kobe Faker Says:

    Philly has no interest in DC4.

    They will grab Mccafferty if he is still available but absolutely no RBS with questionable injury history

    2 yrs with injury plagued Ryan Williams is enough

    DC4 is going to drop into the 2nd round behind Joe Mixon

  51. Eric Says:

    So on top of all the other negatives he is also a borderline tard. Bad shoulders, thug, can’t run inside, not very athletic, hurts puppies, beats women, and now an 11 on the wonderlic. Yeah sounds like a 3rd running back once you take away the name. I don’t get all the attention. Why not do some homework on the other running backs and share it with us? I had nothing against the guy until the se men holes forced him down our throat, so much that I would really be pissed if he did end up a Buc. Id be even more than the other “record setting” Se men hole….yeah the greatest kicker in NCAA history Roberto Aguayo aka the worst kicker in the NFL 2016!! Stats in college, while they are nice to have don’t really count for much. If they were Danny Weurfful and Ron Dayne would be in Canton.

  52. Tony from Los Angeles Says:

    I love how this site only pines for RB’s within a 350 mile radius. Homerism on full display.

  53. NFLNut Says:

    Eric … 11 is not a “borderline tard” … Frank Gore got a “6” I believe and I know Mo Claiborne scored a “4” … anyways, the Wonderlic isn’t important for RB’s, only QB’s and maybe C’s and MLB’s imho … and most people don’t score high … the average score even for professional journalists is only 28, which to me is very low but it shows you the difficulty of the test for most people I guess …

  54. Bill Says:

    Eric, whoa!

    That list of crap is ‘on top’ of all the other negatives?

    Just say you don’t like Dalvin Cook. It’s ok.