Indianapolis — Former Michigan State quarterback Connor Cook had his opportunity to impress NFL scouts on the field at the combine Saturday, and his performance produced mixed results.
Athletically, Cook looked good as he ran a 4.79-second 40-yard dash, tied for sixth among quarterbacks with Mississippi State’s dual-threat Dak Prescott. Cook’s 33-inch vertical jump ranked fourth at the position, and his 9-foot, 5-inch broad jump tied for ninth.
But, if Cook was hoping to prove he was a no-doubt first-round pick, one national NFL reporter said his passing drills fell short of the mark.
Doug Farrar of Sports Illustrated watched the quarterback drills at Lucas Oil Stadium. He admittedly isn’t too impressed with Cook’s tape from Michigan State and said the performance Saturday didn’t change his perception for better or worse.
The surprise from Cook, according to Farrar, was that he was slightly better throwing deep than expected and slightly worse throwing short.
Cook was bothered late in MSU's season with a sore right shoulder. He said earlier this week the shoulder was 100-percent healthy.
With two months left before the draft, most analysts think Cook is the fourth-best quarterback prospect behind Cal’s Jared Goff, North Dakota State’s Carson Wentz and Memphis’ Paxton Lynch.
NFL teams have concerns about Cook’s character and leadership ability. Cook discussed some of those issues during his media interview Thursday, but it surely came up in his interviews with teams this week.
While watching Cook throw, Farrar noted that he had good delivery and footwork on a post corner route, which is among the hardest passes to throw. However, on two go routes, two of Cook’s passes forced receivers to slow down and adjust to make a play on the ball.
One issue with Cook’s performance Saturday, Farrar said, was some inconsistent footwork. Farrar said Cook would stop his feet at times during his delivery, which led to a motion that wasn’t perfectly fluid.
Cook will have more chances to impress teams at Michigan State’s pro day next month and during pre-draft visits. ESPN analyst Mel Kiper Jr. said this week he thinks Cook is a second-round prospect, and based on the combine, he still has work to do to be a first-round pick.