20 Days to the Draft: Virginia CB, Chris Cook

With the Draft fast approaching, it's time to start looking at some potential players for the Patriots. I'm going to put profiles of 2 players a day- one offense, one defensive- and gain a better understanding of the players in the draft.

Yes, another cornerback. I believe that it's a position that has a high chance of being improved upon this draft- especially if Terrence Wheatley and Jonathan Wilhite don't make it through training camp. Virginia CB Chris Cook, who has already had a private workout with the Patriots, is a player who will get looked at on size alone. Virginia is known for being in the cellar of the ACC, year in and year out, but Cook was a bright spot on an otherwise dark team. At 6-2, 212 lbs, Cook has the size and speed to run with the Randy Mosses of the league- except that there aren't many Mosses. Cook, due to his height, has some trouble against the quicker receivers (think Welker), while doing well against faster receivers (think Moss). With a lot of receivers falling in between the Welker and Moss category, one has to wonder how Cook would succeed in the NFL. If he doesn't work out as a corner, at least he could be a great safety.

His measurements and some quotes after the jump.

WalterFootball.com Scouting

Height: 6-2. Weight: 212.
Projected 40 Time: 4.57.
Combine 40 Time: 4.43.
Benchx225: 7. Vertical:

CBSSports.com Scouting

03/19/2010 - TOP RATED NFL DRAFT SCOUT CORNERBACKS: Chris Cook, Virginia, 6-2, 212, 2-3: Injuries and academic problems limited his production in college. But Cook is expected by many scouts to showcase his considerable athletic ability in the NFL, where he might be moved to safety. He validated his speed and explosion at the combine with a 40-yard time of 4.44 and a vertical jump of 37 inches. But considering his size, he was less than stellar on the bench press, where he hoisted 225 pounds seven times. Cook lost most of the 2005 year with a broken leg, three games in 2007 with a sprained knee and was suspended for the 2008 season for academic reasons. He has great size, excellent speed and looked good as a safety in Senior Bowl practices before being sidelined with a groin injury. - Frank Cooney, The Sports Xchange, NFLDraftScout.com/CBS Sports/USA TODAY

NFL.com Scouting

Cook has excellent size and strength for the position. He lacks great burst and pure speed to play out on an island in man coverage but is versatile enough to be effective as a rolled up defender or move inside to the safety position. Cook uses his hands well to re-route receivers off the line of scrimmage. He doesn’t have the lateral agility and quickness to stay in a top receiver’s hip pocket and he may be a liability in some schemes. Cook is a solid run support defender and an active player versus both the run and pass. Cook has great instincts and feel for route progression to make plays on the ball. His size, toughness and versatility makes him a valued commodity in this year’s draft.

Strengths

Cook has outstanding height, good bulk and terrific overall size for a defensive back. Is a durable player. Exhibits the toughness needed to be physical in press coverage and run support. Very competitive defender. Has the versatility to play as a cover-2 corner or safety. Shows good instincts when playing zone coverage. Has been productive in college.
Weaknesses
Cook only possesses average speed and probably isn’t suited to play on an island. Does not have the necessary lateral quickness to shadow sharp route runners at the next level and likely won’t be overly effective in man-heavy coverage schemes.

Verdict: Along with Spievey, I don't think Cook is a good fit for our defense. There aren't very many Randy Mosses in the league, which means that Cook doesn't really have a job. He's too tall to play corner against the shorter and faster receivers, who we play weekly, so he has a very limited cornerback role. That means he'd be playing safety on our team and due to us grabbing Pat Chung last year, I don't think Cook will be drafted by the Patriots. I think he's a taller version of Spievey- good against certain players, too weak to be great against the run and a one trick pony. Yes, the NFL.com scouting says he's good at run support. I view that as saying Cook will be good at helping other players bring down running backs- he won't be making any plays himself.

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