Dalvin Cook left Florida State as the most accomplished runner in school history. This is no small achievement, as the Seminoles are one of the blue bloods of college football. During the 2017 NFL season, the rookie back is hoping his college production and style of play translates to the NFL.
A projected first-round pick by most NFL analysts around the league, Cook slid to the middle of the second round on draft weekend. This ended up being a blessing for both Minnesota and the do-it-all running back as Minnesota did not own a first-round pick and ended up with a player who very well could have gone in the first round and Cook will get the opportunity to see the field early and often.
With the signing of Latavius Murray in the offseason, most expected him to get the bulk of the carries early to kind of ease Dalvin Cook into NFL play. That plan is now on the backburner for now, as Murray is on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list with an injury allowing Cook to get comfortable with the offense. Many analysts are now picking the Florida State product as their Offensive Rookie of the Year.
Cook has big shoes to fill and does not shy away from questions asked about his predecessor Adrian Peterson. Peterson’s career with the Vikings is worthy of the Hall of Fame one day, but Cook is determined to make a name for himself and does not want to compare himself to Adrian.
“Adrian was obviously one of the best to ever play the game, I don’t want to compare myself to him or be compared to him. I actually grew up watching him. I just want to be Dalvin,” Cook said.
When receiving questions about the team, Cook is well aware of how dominant the defense is that he is playing against every day in practice. He even went into detail on how that can make everybody on the offensive side of the ball better.
“Our front is serious. We got Linval [Joseph], we got Danielle [Hunter], our linebackers. Our defense is good, period. I didn’t know they were this good until I got out there. You know, you can barely get the snap off with Linval and you got Everson [Griffen] coming off the edge with Barr; all those guys man. It is just fun watching those guys and it is fun to compete against those guys because once Sundays come and once the game comes, it makes it easier,” Cook said.
A lot of pressure will be put on the 21-year-old to perform this season and a lot of weight is on his shoulders for this offense to be successful. If Dalvin Cook stays healthy and plays like many know he can play, the Vikings should enjoy a successful season that leads them to the playoffs. If he does not perform up to par, this Viking offense could struggle.