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One week out from NFL Draft, Dalvin Cook’s stock is dropping

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With the NFL Draft only one week away, former Florida State star Dalvin Cook has gone from arguably the best back in the draft to possibly falling to the second round. After an underwhelming result at the NFL Scouting Combine, Cook’s stock appears to be dropping.

Before the Combine, Cook himself made the case the he was the best running back in the draft. The critics came out soon after, and Cook was no better than the third rated running back.

Florida State’s all-time leading rusher is now in the lower portion of the first round. Some of the mock drafts have him dropping out of the first round altogether.

LSU’s Leonard Fournette and Stanford’s Christian McCaffrey are now between top five and mid-first round picks ahead of Cook. FSU Coach Jimbo Fisher had a response to the critics.

“Turn the tape on,” said Fisher, quoted in the Orlando Sentinel. “How come all those fast guys couldn’t catch him? How did he run away from all those guys?”

Some discussion among a few scouts involves “off the field” issues with Cook. Some might remember misdemeanor charges in his past, but those were enough to have one NFL scout say he “trusts” Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon over Cook.

For those needing a reminder, Mixon is the guy who knocked out a college coed with one haymaker punch. If trusting Mixon over Cook is a prevailing attitude among the early drafting teams, it goes to show why they are drafting early. Those spots are reserved for losers.

Cook is now projected anywhere from the 15th selection to the second round. Defensive lineman DeMarcus Walker is projected as a second or possibly third round choice.

If he stays in the first round, Cook will be one of a very few from Florida programs who will hear their names called on Thursday night, when the first round will be conducted. Alabama, on the other hand, could have as many as five joining Commissioner Roger Goodell on the stage at Philadelphia City Hall.

The Florida Gators appear to have a first rounder in linebacker Jarrad Davis. Six of seven mock drafts reviewed have him as a late first round selection.

One of those projections had cornerback Teez Tabor and defensive tackle Caleb Brantley going in the first round, but both are more likely to be drafted in the second round on Friday.

Miami tight end David Njoku is likely to go in the second round, but a few believe he has first round potential. Quarterback Brad Kaaya will go no higher than the second round.

Despite the best analysis and projections, plenty of surprises are guaranteed.


Bob Sparks is President of Ramos and Sparks Group, a Tallahassee-based business and political consulting firm. During his career, he has directed media relations and managed events for professional baseball, served as chief spokesperson for the Republican Party of Florida as well as the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the Attorney General of Florida. After serving as Executive Deputy Chief of Staff for Governor Charlie Crist, he returned to the private sector working with clients including the Republican National Committee and political candidates in Japan. He lives in Tallahassee with his wife, Sue and can be reached at

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