There is one month between now and the NFL Draft. Teams will look at the tape, interview potential stars. There will be discussions and more discussions. And in the end, the team that selects Dalvin Cook might have the best running back in this Draft five years out.
Dalvin Cook wowed team officials and media in Tallahassee on Tuesday, proving he has speed to burn and can carry the ball out of the backfield. He told the media many teams have contacted him about playing, but would not divulge which teams made a call.
A case could be made that a dozen teams could use his services. In the end, only a handful will have the chance. Here are six teams that could add Cook to its roster.
Kansas City Chiefs – There was a time when Kansas City rode the legs of Jamaal Charles. Those days are gone as Charles was released.
The Chiefs’ offense needs a more stable running game. The offense used to depend on the run to set up the pass. With Alex Smith being more of a game manager, his offensive weapons must lead the way.
Kansas City’s wide receivers are good but not great. Travis Kelce is solid.
Just think what this team can do with a dependable running game.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers – If you ask Dalvin Cook, he will tell you this would be “special.” Working with quarterback Jameis Winston would recreate memories from Tallahassee. I like this move if Cook is still on the board at No. 19.
That’s a wait and see proposition. Tampa Bay could still move up to try to acquire him, possibly ahead of Indianapolis and Philadelphia.
I suspect the “marriage” between Cook and Tampa Bay might be the final piece of the puzzle to reach the playoffs.
Indianapolis Colts – The last time the Colts had a solid running game, Joseph Addai was toting the rock.
Indianapolis has Andrew Luck, which is better than most teams have at quarterback. If the Colts could somehow acquire Cook, it would mean this offense moving back toward the top of the NFL rankings.
If Luck can use Cook’s ability to catch passes out of the backfield, he would effectively take some pressure off the passing game.
Philadelphia Eagles – Besides Tampa Bay, The Eagles have been Cook’s most logical landing spot.
I don’t think it happens. The Eagles have other needs as well.
Philadelphia sold the house to sign plenty of pass catchers to help Carson Wentz in his second season for the Eagles. The problem is Philadelphia needs more of a consistent running game. While Doug Pederson looked more than capable as a head coach, he still needs to use the running game like he did in Kansas City.
Carolina Panthers – This move would be a “panic” call if Carolina cannot land Leonard Fournette. Carolina is one of those teams that leans heavily on the running game. Quarterback Cam Newton has been used more than he should be. Despite Jonathan Stewart’s success in the running game, the Panthers need more consistency on the ground to open the passing game even more. It will also eliminate the constant abuse Newton took in 2016.
Cook will only land here in pinch. He may not be successful in this offense.
Jacksonville Jaguars – The Jaguars, barring a trade, will have first shot to select Cook. Jalen Ramsey has been touting the “4 at 4” – which means Dalvin Cook lands in Jacksonville.
The Jaguars have Chris Ivory and TJ Yeldon on the roster, but neither were productive last season. Conversely, A steady running game takes the heat off Blake Bortles. In essence, Cook at No. 4 might save Bortles’ career in Jacksonville. The one thing Cook does that Jacksonville has lacked is a breakaway back.