PRO 2022 Rookie Spotlight: James Cook, RB Georgia

Rookie Spotlight: James Cook, Georgia
Height: 5’ 11”
Weight: 199
Hands: 9 3/8”
Arm: 30 3/4”
40 yard dash: 4.42
Age: 23
NFL Comparison: Myles Gaskin, Justice Hill

College Production (Final Season)
21% team rushes
10% team receptions
15% total team yards
16% total team TDs

Good open field vision
Breakaway speed
Doesn’t lose speed after cuts
Displays patience for blocks
Decent route runner with solid hands and large wingspan
Excellent body control
Elusive in the open field

Thin lower half
Goes down on first contact too often
Never had a full workload
More smooth than explosive
Easily uprooted as a blocker

Scouting Notes:
The younger brother of Dalvin Cook, James has a similar style of running, albeit in a slightly smaller package. Dalvin isn’t a big back himself, and his extensive injury history during the course of his career as a workhorse back doesn’t bode well for his brother’s chances in a similar role. Let’s talk about what James can do though. Cook displays patience as a runner from the snap, waiting for his blocks before accelerating quickly through the first level. With sharp jump cuts that rival his big brother’s, Cook doesn’t lose momentum after the fact, allowing him to eat up yardage. This is especially beneficial as Cook isn’t much of a tackle breaker – He’s thin through his trunk, though he does keep his pads low for the most part. Cook is also considerably elusive as a runner, a mitigating factor for his slightness as well. As a pass-catcher, James might be more natural than his brother – He’s a solid route runner and shows a knack for catching the ball in stride. He also adjusts to the ball well, a cogent indicator of his body control. Once he’s broken into the second level, Cook is hard to catch, as his 4.42 speed isn’t lost on the field. He’s more smooth than explosive though, on the whole. Cook is a liability as a blocker, more often than not. Easily uprooted, he is going to have to figure this part of his game out. He projects to be a 3rd down back, so it’s paramount that he resolves this issue. There’s a lot to like about Cook’s game, but there are major questions about whether he has the build to be a 2-down back or the stoutness to offer capable pass-protection as a 3rd down back.

Fantasy Outlook:
Cook looks like a day-3 pick in the draft, but with an unconvincing crew of “better” candidates in front of him, I could see him going in day-2 and I wouldn’t blink. He has most of the intangibles you want in an NFL RB these days. But if Dalvin can barely stay on the field consistently as a 3-down back, then I’m hard pressed to believe his even smaller brother can. That being said, Cook is enough of a big-play threat to warrant considerable fantasy upside on a weekly basis, on the right team. I don’t see him as a no.1 RB on your dynasty team, and I wouldn’t draft him as such. I do see him as a good satellite back with a high ceiling though, so don’t let him fall too far.

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