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PFF scouting report: Dalvin Cook, HB, Florida State

SYRACUSE, NY - NOVEMBER 19: Dalvin Cook #4 of the Florida State Seminoles carries the ball during the game against the Syracuse Orange on November 19, 2016 at The Carrier Dome in Syracuse, New York. Florida State defeats Syracuse 45-14. (Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images)

School: Florida State

Position fit: Running back

Stats to know: Led the FBS in elusive rating, breaking 99 tackles (92 on rushes, seven on receptions) and averaging 4.19 yards after contact

What he does best:

  • Outstanding vision, patience to allow blocks to develop playside but also decisive when presented with backside opportunities
  • Breaks long runs in spite of his blocking. Home run waiting to happen
  • Great fit in an outside zone scheme, best using his instincts to pick lanes and athleticism on the move
  • Elite acceleration ensures consistent big-play potential
  • Sufficient long speed to outrun defenders. Angle-changing speed
  • Able to make defenders miss at full speed, finished tops in elusive rating
  • Aggressive north/south runner, rarely looks to bounce plays outside
  • Not always searching for big play. Rarely takes losses, keeps the offense ahead of the chains
  • Even behind subpar run-blocking in 2016, made the most of it and showed the ability to take what is given

Biggest concern:

  • Ball security – fumbled 14 times in 763 touches
  • Failed to dominate as receiver out of backfield, although inhibited by scheme
  • Ran a limited number of routes
  • Didn’t always display the best hands, although improved as a junior
  • Suffered nagging muscular injuries throughout his career at FSU

Player comparison: Fred Taylor, Jacksonville Jaguars

In his prime, Taylor had elite, game-changing ability, and that is what separates Cook from the other backs in this class. He can turn the slightest crease into a big play, and he can contribute as a weapon in the passing game.

Bottom line: Cook’s big-play ability makes him a special player. When given a hole, he can take it to the house, and even when his blocking isn’t good, he has the ability to maximize what is there. Cook’s fumbling problems, like his hamstring, flares up too frequently, so there are some concerns. Despite those issues, Cook’s name will still be called early because of his prodigious potential.

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