Dalvin Cook was one of the biggest names in the 2017 NFL Draft and was expected to be a first round draft pick heading into the draft. Unfortunately, his day did not go as planned. The Minnesota Vikings were happy to snag Cook with the No. 41 overall pick in the draft, which helped them move on quickly from former superstar running back Adrian Peterson.
Seeing Cook drop that far in the draft was a big surprise to some. Why he dropped in the draft was debated by many, although there were quite a few doubters that thought his slip in the draft was justified.
Now, just three weeks into the 2017 NFL season, Cook is proving those doubters wrong and looks like a budding star for the Vikings.
Through the first three weeks of the season, Cook has carried the football 61 times for 288 yards and a touchdowns. He has also racked up 10 receptions for 82 yards. Cook’s numbers average out to 4.7 yards per carry, which is impressive for a rookie running back.
Dalvin Cook after contact 💪 pic.twitter.com/LTcKzKEMUZ
— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) September 24, 2017
Minnesota’s offense has looked dangerous throughout the first three weeks. They had a bit of a rough performance in Week 2 without Sam Bradford due to injury, but backup quarterback Case Keenum looked more than prepared in Week 3. Cook’s ability to grind out yardage on the ground has opened up the passing game and his confidence is soaring with his early performance.
At just 22 years of age, Cook has proved that he is more than capable of handling a workhorse role. He has helped Vikings’ fans forget about Peterson, especially with the rough start to the season that he has had in New Orleans. Cook also showed Peterson up in Week 1 head-to-head, rushing for 127 yards in his debut.
Dalvin Cook gets better and better as the game goes on.
Prime Adrian Peterson was the same way. Great RBs get stronger with each carry. pic.twitter.com/9Y1m5C3umE
— JustWinBaby (@Future_NFL_GM) September 24, 2017
Needless to say, the other 31 teams that chose to pass on Cook could end up paying for their decision. One team, in particular, is the Green Bay Packers, who were strongly consider drafting him with the first pick of the second round. Green Bay will be forced to face Cook twice each season, although they are happy with Kevin King’s early play this season.
Assuming Cook continues to grow and reaches his full potential, Minnesota may have a superstar on their hands. His work ethic has been well-documented and sliding in the draft seems to have given him a chip on his shoulder.
Looking ahead at the rest of the season, Cook has a very good chance to win the Offensive Rookie of the Year award. He is going up against Jacksonville Jaguars’ rookie running back Leonard Fournette, who has gotten off to a good start himself. Both rookie running backs are taking the league by storm and it will be entertaining to see how the develop and match up with each other in a few seasons.
Expect to see Cook continue his strong play throughout the rest of his rookie season. His hot start is not a fluke and he is making his critics eat their words immediately to start his career.
Do you think Dalvin Cook will win the Offensive Rookie of the Year award this season? Let us know your thoughts in the comment box below!