The Bucs And Dalvin Cook

September 21st, 2017

Dirk Koetter weighs in

Winning Bucs coach Dirk Koetter threw a little bit of offsesaon intrigue into the air yesterday.

It’s always fun to speculate, but here Joe will type what he knows.

Last offseason Joe was brushing up on the draft and talked about college players with someone who collects a check from the Bucs. Joe was just seeking background information. Now Joe wasn’t born yesterday and wasn’t going to bluntly ask,”Who are you drafting?” because that is simply a waste of time and that might have hacked off the guy Joe was questioning could have led to Joe getting shut down.

Anyway, Joe threw out names of college players and this person was kind enough to give Joe a brief breakdown from an NFL perspective the pros and cons (of Player-X) and how or why the player would/wouldn’t be a good fit on an NFL team, etc. (This same person told Joe a couple of years ago whatever team got a hold of Joey Bosa or Ezekiel Elliott was going to hit a three-run home run. Boy, this guy sure was right.)

Then Joe asked about Dalvin Cook. To Joe’s surprise, Joe was told, “We’re doing a lot of homework on him.”

Joe immediately was brought back to the time he interviewed Donovan Smith at the NFL combine when Smith was coming out of Penn State. Joe asked Smith if the Bucs had talked to him and Smith told Joe, “A lot.” In fact, the Bucs had done more than talk to him. They worked him out.

Well, a team isn’t going to spend “a lot” of time on a guy if they are not interested. Seriously interested.

So fast-forward to yesterday when Koetter was asked about Cook. Of course, the Bucs play the Vikings and Cook, who thus far is showing why he was likely the most talented running back coming out of the draft.

Koetter raved about Cook’s skillset.

“He’s a really good player,” Koetter said. “He can run with power. He can run with speed. He can catch the ball out of the backfield and he has demonstrated all of that in the first two weeks of the season. [He’s a] really good football player.”

When asked if he scouted and/or spent much time breaking down film of Cook leading up to the draft, Koetter offered, “A lot. I spent a lot.”

So that’s two Bucs types, one the head coach, admitting the team was doing serious research on Cook

It makes Joe wonder what spooked the Bucs about Cook, who the Vikings traded up for and selected in the second round at No. 41? The Bucs had the No. 50 selection.

61 Responses to “The Bucs And Dalvin Cook”

  1. webster Says:

    Nothing spooked them. They had OJ howard in the top 3 of their draft board. Its as simple as that.

  2. MJB Says:

    Agree with Webster…everyone is assuming the Bucs “passed” on Cook. OJ was available at 19 and Minnesota traded in front of the Bucs to select Cook in 2nd round. Who says the Bucs wouldn’t have drafted him if he was there in the 2nd?

  3. Kobe Faker Says:

    When DC dropped to the 2nd round, there was 4/5 rb needy teams including the bucs were hoping for DC to drop to them or ready to make a move to tradeup…

    Vikings made the move first

  4. I'mJustSaiyan Says:

    ….I know OJ was higher on the board……

    just really would have rather had Cook ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

  5. JB Says:

    In years past our front office would’ve passed on the highest graded tight end to come out in years and taken a running back that could easily have personal issues with an entourage of questionable character. No Thanks! Although I would’ve had no problem with them moving up in the second round to pick up Cook, but you just don’t pass on a player like Howard when he falls in your lap! Did you see him blocking Bear linebacker Leonard Floyd? The stuff All-Pros are made of!!!!!

  6. Stanglassman Says:

    I thought it was confirmed that Cook was the player the Bucs were targeting when they Attempted to move up to the top of the 2nd round.

  7. David Says:

    I think what joe is saying is that the bucs could have traded back into the late 1st or earlier 2nd rd to nab him. Too bad we didn’t cause dude is balling out sooo far.

  8. Stanglassman Says:

    You must have a willing partner in order to complete a trade. It was reported that they attempted to move up to the first pick in the 2nd round but apparently the asking price was too high.

  9. SCBucsFan Says:

    Still obsessed with Cook, looking for a reason he isn’t here. As above, the reason is simple – Howard.

  10. MadMax Says:

    Dont get me wrong, I wouldve been fine grabbing him in the 2nd (even if we moved up) but thy must rely on the coach’s and gm’s eye….they know we needed help at safety more than rb with our current stable at rb. I think Dougies gonna come back with a vengeance, and with Jaquizz and Peyton, Evans at safety just looked like the move to make.

    Now had we known we wouldve picked up Ward, that whole process mightve went a different way.

  11. Dreambig Says:

    This will be interesting to keep an eye on. OJ Howard was a steal, I get that. Long term he might have more impact but right now Cook after two games is beating APs rookie rushing numbers and is averaging almost 6 yards per carry.
    We have Brate, Godwin, Jackson, Evans, and Hump. OJ is another guy who can catch the ball and a good blocker. Its an embarrassment of riches at TE and guys who can catch the ball vs our only decent running back is suspended and inconsistent when he’s not. Our offense will be fine. Thats not my point. My point is D. Cook is a difference maker, always has been and it looks like he is off to continuing that in the NFL. Its going to be another stupid draft story of why a great player fell because people over thought things. I love OJ but I question if he will truely have more impact than a stud RB who wears out the opposing defense and scores a lot of points. I suspect by the time Cook is done, people are going to wonder why he didn’t go in the top 10 of the draft. Here’s hoping the Bucs defense stuffs him up all day Sunday and makes my rant here look stupid!

  12. DallasBuc Says:

    Crazy how we couldn’t pull a decent RB out of this draft. But hey Justin “no instincts, can’t tackle” Evans and Jeremy “gonna make you forget about Doug Martin” McNichols were a real wise use of resources. I blame Lovie. Who else?

  13. Jdr Says:

    Oj we got four different positions for the price of one at fullback, h-back, true beast of a tight end 6th man on the line the third if not second best run Blocker on the entire offense of line he shut down all pressure last weekend when he was on the weak side stood up and shut down pass rushes when supporting Donovan Smith all positive runs if you look at every positive run in last week’s game running backs we’re running behind OJ Howard and once the teams start doubling Evans Howard’s going to get open and you’ll see why he is more valuable than one player a running back

  14. Joe Says:

    Yes, David gets the idea.

    Please don’t misunderstand Joe, O.J. Howard’s going to be a good one.

  15. NOSBOS Says:

    I love DC,yea he raw always has been always will be. With that being said we fina pound his @$$ this weekend.

  16. Dusthty Rhothdes Says:

    Dallas Buc I blame Lovie as well for the reaches the past 2 years in the 2nd round, this draft was loaded with starting RBs and not to mention not grabbing Laremy Tunsil last year instead of an average corner

  17. Pickgrin Says:

    Dalvin Cook was absolutely a top 15 talent based strictly on tape – but dropped due to his injury history, brushes with the law and very questionable acquaintances.

    Licht did indeed try to trade up for Cook in the 2nd round but was unable to find a trade partner and/or make a deal that was acceptable.

    There will be more good RBs coming out next year and Doug Martin comes back in 12 days. We will be OK at RB this year and try again for some fresh legs in next year’s draft.

    Meanwhile we got the best TE prospect in many. many years!

  18. LocalJoker Says:

    I love Cook, but should be discussing how we missed out on RB Kareem Hunt! Just sayin’.

  19. BigHogHaynes Says:

    Joe…not you Joe, That MITIGATING FACTOR JOE MIXON!

  20. Dreambig Says:

    LocalJoker – Can argue with that one. That dude is killing it! 3rd round pick leading the league in yardage plus a sick 7.6 ypc. In other news both McCaffery and Joe Mixon are not in the top 40 RBs and have < 3 ypc.

  21. Dreambig Says:

    Only 2 weeks played though

  22. Mark Says:

    Why all the complaining? Isn’t Justin Evans playing great for us? In Licht we trust, except for 2nd round draft decisions!

  23. Wausa Says:

    I would’ve loved it the Bucs got Dalvin. I was very confident he would be an outstanding pro and it already looks like he is on that path.

    However, I think we got a pretty good player in OJ. He finished in the top 5 of Bucs rated players by Pro Football Focus in the game against the Bears.
    I know Joe doesn’t like PFF, but Mike Smith talked about their high rating of William Gholsten’ run defense at his press conference the other day so it must have some legitimacy in the coaches minds.

  24. The Buc Realist Says:

    The very good teams don’t waste top picks on RB that only have a couple of years in them!!!!! Rather have a great player that has the potential to last 10 years then a good running back for about 4 years!!!!!!!

    The right decision was made!!!!!!!

    GO Bucs

  25. Evolvingbucfan Says:

    Dead horse Joe, let it go. Cook is gone, on another team, the Enemy. The Bucs organization made the right call, we will get our runner eventually and it won’t be cook. Next.

  26. BucTrooper Says:

    Not drafting Cook was a mistake. And they’re already justifying their regret by saying OJ Howard is a great blocker.

    I was right about Michael Clayton.

    I was right about Mark Barron.

    I’m right again about this.

  27. MadMax Says:

    Saw a mock that has Saquon Barkley available in the mid 20’s….I’d take him over injury prone Guice….most mocks have us picking in the mid 20’s. Id still rather go DE or CB though with our 1st, then move back in for RB.

  28. stpetebucsfan Says:

    We are building a team!!! There are many moving parts in that endeavor…including the PRICE on moving up. How much were you guys willing to spend…how many draft picks…how high…mortgage next year? That’s what Licht had to consider.

    Now what is the goal here? To have a stud RB or a winning TEAM?

    So Dalvin has totally made the Vikes winners right? 1-1 including a ten point win over WINLESS New Orleans and getting routed by the Steelers.

    In fairness Bradford didn’t play.

    How about the Cowgirls and Zeke. The Broncos just gave the league the blueprint for shutting down their offense….stuff Zeke!!!

    I’d love to have the best player in the league at every position…that’s NEVER going to happen so you have to pick and choose.

    RB is NOT the critical position on the field….it’s QB. Anybody believe we don’t have one of the very best young QB’s in the league…that’s the position that counts…not RB!!!

    If the OL continues to perform…Quizz who reportedly played with the flu will be fine…Barber shows great promise and has figured out blocking…and of course we have a two time Pro Bowl running back returning in just two more games.

    I LOVED Dalvin Cook and I was with NOSBOS as a big cheerleader for drafting him….but not ahead of OJ…and I do not know what price (draft picks including perhaps next years..our future) teams demanded for us to move up.
    We do NOT have Dalvin…so let’s just get over it!!!

  29. Phil Says:

    We will regret not going after Cook. He is a difference maker.

  30. Blade Runner Says:

    I’m glad that Howard fell to the Bucs in the 1st round but Licht should have been more aggressive and offered multiple picks to move up in the 2nd to draft Cook! Instead, the Bucs sat on their hands and drafted a project player, Justin Evans who is notorious for missing tackles and didn’t stand out during preseason! Licht always struggles with the 2nd round but does a great job of drafting quality players in the latter rounds!

  31. webster Says:

    What are some of you arm chair gms taliking about? Blade runner says the bucs should have offered multiple picks to move up? So are you willing to give up beckwith and godwin just to have cook? Thats idiotic. Did you see how beckwith filled in for kwon? Do you remember the last time kwon was out? Arm chair gms like buctrooper is saying the bucs are already justifying their regret by saying he is a great blocker. Where the he11 have you been? The bucs called him a great blocker the second they drafted him. You must have missed the part when they said to have a tightend who can both catch and block at an all pro level is rare. Dalvin cook while he is good is not rare. Get over it!!!!!

  32. Blade Runner Says:

    @webster I never said offer multiple picks in the later rounds of this years draft; future picks! The Bucs could have offered a trade package similar to what the Vikings offered to trade up for Cook which wasn’t much at all!

    Every fan is entitled to give an opinion without being labeled an armchair GM. Stay out of the medicine cabinet because nobody cares about your redneck hillbilly logic!

  33. Pickgrin Says:

    Actually webster – Cook’s talent is pretty rare and hard to come by. But I agree with everything else you said. I’d rather have Godwin and Beckwith and Justin Evans as opposed to just Cook for the same price which is likely what Licht was looking at having to trade if he wanted Cook that badly.

    Its easier to find a good NFL RB in rounds 3>5 than just about any other position. Makes no sense for a team like ours still trying to solidify our base talent to spend premium draft resources on a RB when there’s a motivated, 2X Pro Bowl and All Pro RB already under contract. The 2 years that Doug Martin stayed healthy – he showed he is one of the best runners in the league.


  34. SOEbuc Says:

    They still want Doug Martin as their starting RB. I do too. Apparently he’s looking in great shape and the Bucs picked up basically a third OT that can block really well, catch really well, and has great speed.

  35. webster Says:

    Blade except for the fact im not a redneck. Second what the he11 what the vikings did have to do with the bucs? Trading future picks means you are giving up beckwiths and godwins in next year’s draft. And that type of thinking is as you put it redneck hillbilly logic!!!! Thanks arm chair gm.


    Dalvin cook is not rare. Kareem hunt proves that. I will give you more…..arian foster, matt forte, shady mccoy, jamal charles etc. I can go on and on. My point is his skill set is and has been all over the nfl.

  36. Capt.Tim Says:

    We’ll see how Cook is doing next year
    As Pickgrin said
    Injuries, brushes with the law, questionable associates

    Bad shoulders, bad person, bad friends.
    That type comes and goes frequently.
    Kareem Hunt looks to be the real deal, however

  37. BucsFanFromSaintsLand Says:

    Thank you, Webster! These folks are delusional

  38. Bucsfanman Says:

    YAWN!!! Wait, you mean we didn’t draft Cook?!

    I wish fans would stop pining over players not wearing pewter. Is he a Buc? Nope. To that I say: Defense, go knock his chest off!

  39. Eric Says:

    Injury prone? How many games did he miss at FSU?

    Bad decision not getting him. Very bad.

    I like the “wait and see” attitude with Cook, but of course Howard has totally proven himself with one catch.

  40. JabooBuc Says:

    Great, DallasBuc is back to bitch! I can’t believe people are giving Licht grief for this draft. 4 of the 6 players taken are on the 53 man roster. 2 are starters and Godwin could be a starter by mid year. Jury is still out on Evans but it’s a little crazy to think all of these rookies would be starters on day 1.

    I will put 4 of 6 drafted making the team against all other GM’s every year. I wanted Dalvin Cook as much as anyone but had no idea Howard would fall. He could prove to be Gronk type force in this league as a TE for many years to come. I am sure it was a tough call but glad we have the players we have.

  41. stpetebucsfan Says:

    Again I wanted Cook…not more than OJ though. And as posters have pointed out not at the expense of even Godwin and Beckwith who will both be great at their positions for years to come barring injury…which is the same wild card with Cook.

    As for difference makers….it’s always the QB’s and not the RB…and even in cases where it seems to be the RB it’s generally the OL that makes the running game click. Minnesota did a big revamp of their OL in the off season…perhaps they have fixed their problem.

    As for difference makers….again…Dalvin..1-1…Zeke 1-1…and oh btw sorry to Diss you Big Hog and leave out Joe Mixon…he’s 0-2 and the Bengals currently suck…although I would quickly concede that has as much to do with Dalton’s QB play as Mixon but that is EXACTLY my point…it’s the QB who stirs the drink not the RB’s. We have very serviceable RB’s and if Doug is really back we have two time pro bowler…we are NOT hurting at RB!!!!

  42. Blake_bucsfan Says:


    Can’t really Judge Mixon’s performance as of yet, because A. The entire Bengals offense is playing terribly. B. Hill and Bernard are still getting the majority of snaps, despite Mixon looking far better than both of them in preseason.

    And as for the rest of y’all, if there’s a rookie RB to wish we had at this point, It’s certainly Kareem Hunt and not Cook.

    Plus like Nos said earlier, we are going to put a beating on the kid this week. Shoot after seeing the lick T.J. Ward put on Cohen last week, Cook might not even be playing in week 4.

  43. D-Rome Says:

    Crazy how we couldn’t pull a decent RB out of this draft. But hey Justin “no instincts, can’t tackle” Evans and Jeremy “gonna make you forget about Doug Martin” McNichols were a real wise use of resources. I blame Lovie. Who else?

    Of course. Makes sense! You’re finally understanding the truth! I mean, every good pick in the draft is attributed to Jason Licht and every bad pick is attributed to Lovie Smith. It’s easy:

    Mike Evans: It’s Licht’s pick
    ASJ: It’s Lovie’s pick. Forced Licht’s hand.
    Charles Sims: If he plays well credit Licht. If he plays poorly blame Lovie.
    Kevin Pamphile: Genius 5th round pick by Licht.
    Undrafted Cameron Brate: Licht
    Jameis: Licht for sure. He cried over it.
    Donovan Smith: Lovie forced Licht’s hand.
    Ali Marpet: Home Run by Licht.
    Kwon Alexander: Licht.
    Kenny Bell: Lovie forced Licht’s hand.
    Adam Humphries: Licht snuck him in under Lovie’s radar.

  44. Tony from Los Angeles Says:

    This is silly. Why not bring up Kareem Hunt???? That guy is really balling out. It’s easy to keep bringing up the guy that played right down the road that was constantly on the local sites front pages.

    Why not bring up Tarik Cohen? He might actually help this team over a guy like Sims.

    Just because the Bucs play someone doesn’t mean they should have drafted that player. Good teams do not trade up and give up a ton of capital on the RB position historically. Hunt was taken with the 86th pick. Cohen a full round later. The Patriots are barreling Mike Gillislee into the end zone 4 times already. Smart teams find the talent they need later in the draft and spend premium picks on the more important positions.

  45. Joe Says:

    This is silly. Why not bring up Kareem Hunt????

    Because Koetter didn’t discuss Kareem Hunt.

  46. Brandon Says:

    What spooked them? #1 he is a RB #2 he has an injury history with his shoulders #3 he is said to hang with a bad crowd…. but most importantly, it doesn’t matter if he didn’t have anything to SPOOK them. OJ Howard is a once in a generation talent at TE. He is the highest rated TE I’ve had coming out of college since Kellen Winslow, Jr… and hindsight being 20/20, I have him rated much higher… if only because I mistook immaturity for passion.

    The team also did tons of homework on Curtis Samuel. They visited with him and Kareem Hunt MORE than with Dalvin Cook. Walter Football counts up visits, interviews, etc with prospects and Samuel and Hunt were the top for RBs… Cris Godwin and Samuel were the top for WR (yes, I know Samuel twice). OJ and Ndukwe at TE were tops.

  47. Stranded in Chicago Says:

    As a devout Nole and a Bucs fan, I wanted DC too…. Think some of the hesitation may have been the off the field issues and the fact that Tampa is so close to his home in Miami, there may have been temptation (in their eyes) to get into trouble. Just speculation. I know folks were saying that Minnesota was a good home for him for that reason.

    That said, I’m loving the OJ Howard pick in hindsight. Jameis has always loved throwing to tight ends and he has his pick now with Brate and Howard.

  48. webster Says:

    What brandon said!!!! Also, I read on another publication that the bucs were prepared to pick kareem hunt in the 3rd round but godwin was still on the board and they had godwin rated slightly higher than hunt. Hunt was pick 2 spots after godwin. So theres that.

  49. Pickgrin Says:

    I loved Hunt as a RB prospect prior to the draft – especially as a value pick expected to go in the 3rd rd which he did. So did Jason Licht. As already stated – Hunt was heavy on the Bucs radar pre draft

    But when pick #84 came up and Godwin was still there – it was a no brainer as far as Jason was concerned and I agree completely with the decision to take Godwin over Hunt. We will work with what we have for now and find a new RB in a year or 2. Hell – if DM can stay healthy we may not even need to for a couple years. Godwin was a 1st round talent being widely projected into the mid 2nd round who somehow inexplicably fell to the mid 3rd rd. Easy pick for Jason and one that will pay big dividends as an extremely solid #2 WR for years and years to come

  50. bucs_365 Says:

    It was widely reported that they didn’t like his off-field stuff. Too much of a risk. Maybe those concerns about him will be a non-issue in the NFL and the Bucs will regret not drafting him along with a bunch of other teams. That’s the NFL Draft. But they made a calculation. They needed a safety, and they drafted a talented one (though he needs some polish apparently).

  51. Cobraboy Says:

    In the Big Picture, the one about building a team, I’d much rather have Howard than Cook.

    Howard’s NFL skillset is much rarer than Cook’s.

    Additionally, we see the Bucs hold “character” as a coveted piece of the puzzle. I suspect Cook’s associates raised some eyebrows at One Buc Palace.

  52. holymoly13 Says:

    Howard was a good pick, my question is, are they planning on getting him more involved with the offense. I think he could help on Sunday against the vikings. If they double team Evans and Jackson, he should be wide open over the middle. One catch is not enough for a number 1.

  53. Cobraboy Says:

    If the Bucs go 4 wide with flexed TE’s, no way any team can double anybody.

  54. Blake_bucsfan Says:


    Howard was a phenomenal pick. And even though he only had one catch on Sunday, he did indeed play a crucial role.

    He played 65 percent of the total offensive snaps we took, and to no one’s surprise was a dominant blocker for the entire game.

    But yeah, considering that the Vikings will most likely make a dedicated effort to stop Mikey, we should see increased production from Djax, Cam, and O.J. this Sunday.

  55. Cobraboy Says:

    @Blake: expect a solid game from Humphries.

  56. Blake_bucsfan Says:


    That wouldn’t surprise me either, Same goes for Godwin as well.

  57. chris Says:

    Ok,, it’s early, but I haven’t seen the generational talent. Does he have physical tools? Yes, but so have others, and no one gets excited about a TE blocking ability, if that’s the case, Luke Sticker should have Veena top ten pick. To justify everyone’s lofty expectations, this guy needs to be another Brink, or something similar and I don’t see it with Mike and D Jack , Humphries, etc taking touches away from him. He’ll be a 40-50.catch TE, which, of course, we already had one.

  58. chris Says:

    I hate this phone, Gronk, not Brink.

  59. stpetebucsfan Says:


    I wasn’t trying to judge Mixon…I think he’ll be an excellent back…as much as point out that RB’s simply do not turn teams around. A lot was made of Zeke last year because he played behind arguably the best and largest OL in the league.

    If the QB ain’t doin’ it….the RB becomes irrelevant…as in Dalvin who had a decent game against the Steelers 64 yards rushing…just didn’t make a difference.
    Case Keenum did….and for the Bengals Offense I believe Dalton is making a difference and not in a good way. LOL

  60. Blake_bucsfan Says:


    Name another Tight end that’s essentially 6’6 251 that can make plays like this…

    And at the same time manhandle the best Defensive ends in the league. Re watch the game vs. the Bears and pay specific attention to O.J. Howard during 95 percent of the successful runs that we had.

    He has Generational Talent. No 2 ways about it. If you can’t see it. That’s on you.

    Oh, and just a tidbit. In Gronks first game in the NFL, he had 1 catch for 1 yard and touchdown. In his second game he had 2 catches for 14 yards and no touchdowns. Be patient. And all doubts you have shall be erased.

  61. Blake_bucsfan Says:

    And @Stpete

    Point taken sir.