Despite re-signing team captain James White in the offseason and boasting one of the better early-down running back duos in the entire NFL in Damien Harris and Rhamondre Stevenson, The New England Patriots continue to take extra looks at 2022 NFL Draft running back prospects.
In the same week that they will host former Duke running back Mataeo Durant for a workout, Tony Paulino of Pro Football Network is reporting that New England will also host former Georgia running back James Cook for a top-30 visit.
Cook, a 5-foot-11, 200 pound back, was an ever present name in the college football ranks over the past four seasons. His contributions to a consistently strong running back group under Georgia head coach Kirby Smart garnered a lot of attention, even before he capped off their championship run in 2021 with an MVP worthy performance.
Though Cook rushed for more than 1,500 yards on just 230 carries as a Bulldog, he really made his name in the passing game. He caught 67 passes for a total of 730 yards and six touchdowns over the course of his collegiate career. The all-purpose back was also a contributor on Georgia’s special teams units prior to the 2021 season.
Much like his brother —Minnesota Vikings star Dalvin Cook— James’ best attributes come as an open field runner. He’s smooth and agile, and has great vision. He was used as a pass catcher out of the backfield in college, but also spent some significant time in the slot and split out wide.
A top-30 visit isn’t necessarily indicative of an intent on a team drafting a specific player, rather a chance for that team to gather more information and look to build a relationship in a more intimate setting than that of the Senior Bowl or the NFL Combine.