Following their National Championship in the College Football Playoff, the University of Georgia are losing multiple prospects to the NFL. One of those such prospects is running back James Cook. While Cook had originally accepted an invite to the 2022 Reese’s Senior Bowl, he withdrew before the event began. However, with the 2022 NFL Draft process fully underway, we breakdown what makes James Cook a valuable commodity, along with a predicted 40 time, injury history, and finally, a full scouting report.
James Cook 40 Time
James Cook isn’t an overwhelming athlete, but should still post a 4.51 40 time at the 2022 NFL Scouting Combine. Cook doesn’t possess truly blazing speed, but is able to breakaway from some defenders. Cook’s predicted 40 time of 4.51 is directly in-line with the NFL average for the position of 4.53. Cook lacks downfield speed, but is more than capable of eluding defenders within 20 yards of the line of scrimmage.
James Cook Injury History
Fortunately, James Cook has managed to stay healthy throughout his collegiate career. Aside from a hand injury in 2020, Cook has avoided injury. As is always the case with running backs, wear and tear is a major factor in NFL success. However, he should get a clean bill of health during the medical evaluation process at the 2022 Scouting Combine in Indianapolis.
James Cook Scouting Report
- Burst Around The Edge
- Receiving Ability
- Ball Security
- Needs To Add Weight To His Frame
- Contact Balance
- Relies Too Heavily On The Outside Run
James Cook is a four-year contributor for the University of Georgia Bulldogs. The Bulldogs back is the brother of Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook, a former star back at Florida State. James Cook’s best season was his most recent as he had 107 carries for 651 yards and seven touchdowns. When compared to the league average, Cook possesses solid height, but does need to add additional weight to reach the average for the running back position. As mentioned, his predicted 40 time of 4.51 is at the league average.
The University of Georgia uses many running backs over the course of a game. This caused James Cook to be used as a pure offensive weapon at times where he would line up in the backfield, out wide, and in the slot throughout a game. Often used in jet motion, it allowed Cook to show his burst around the edge and, despite not having high-end speed, can still get away from defenders. Cook was also used often in the passing game and he displayed a natural ability to catch the football and make plays in the open field. He will be a factor in this role in the pros. He also has never fumbled in his four-year career despite having 289 touches.
Firstly, James Cook will need to add weight in the NFL if he is going to last as a running back. For reference, his brother Dalvin weighs twenty pounds more than him at 210. If James Cook could get to this weight he could become a far more effective player. Currently, he struggles to break tackles and often goes down even if the contact made with him isn’t major. As such he struggles between the tackles at times and is not the guy to push a pile. His vision struggles as well at times as it is clear he wants to bounce every run as opposed to cutting back inside.
James Cook NFL Draft Projection
Going forward, I believe James Cook’s best role will be as an offensive weapon type who contributes on special teams as well. He is already experienced playing in many different alignments and has experience in the passing game so this shouldn’t be a tough transition. If he is to last as a running back he will have to add weight. Currently, I see him as a day three selection with a chance to outplay this selection with the right team. For a team such as the San Francisco 49ers, he could provide value in case of injury.