James Cook | Georgia | 5’11” 199 lbs. | 09/25/1999 (Age 22)
James Cook was drafted 63rd overall by the Buffalo Bills, becoming the third running back and 63rd overall player in the 2022 NFL Draft.
The younger brother of Dalvin Cook. James split time with Zamir White for most of his collegiate career. White served as the primary rusher, and Cook spent a ton of his time as a lethal receiver out of the backfield. In 46 career games for the Bulldogs, Cook hauled 67 receptions for 730 yards and six touchdowns. During his first three seasons, he didn’t receive much work on the ground. During those three years, Cook combined for 775 yards on 117 carries (6.6 yards per attempt) and seven touchdowns. He produced 728 yards on 113 carries (6.4 yards per attempt) and seven touchdowns in his senior season alone. No matter how he got the ball, he turned in solid production in his limited role.
Great hands out of the backfield and showcasing above-average route-running abilities for his position. He runs with patience but can turn on the jets and outrun most defenders. Great vision and makes instinctive cuts through the line of scrimmage.
Split time with Zamir White at Georgia. Not used to a heavy workload. He needs to bulk up and is not a great pass-blocker against blitzing defenders. He needs major improvements on his contact balance and doesn’t offer a ton of value as a rusher near the end zone.
At the NFL combine, Cook measured at 5’11” and 190 lbs. Which equates to a BMI of 27.8. He ran a blazing 4.42 40-yard dash (94th percentile), equating to a 104.3-speed score (78th percentile). Cook also displayed a 118.1 burst score (48th percentile) and a college dominator score of 16.0 percent (21st percentile).
Cook shows elite speed for his position and the ideal traits of a dual-threat tailback. He showcased exceptional leaping abilities for his position with a 33” vertical and a 124” broad jump. His strength (especially his lower half) would be a red flag, as he opted out of every strength drill at the combine.
Rapid Reaction to Draft Capital: Fair
Rapid Reaction to Landing Spot: Excellent
Cook was selected with the 63rd overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft by the Buffalo Bills.
As if Josh Allen didn’t have enough weapons in Buffalo’s high-powered offense. Cook joins Devin Singletary, Zack Moss, and Duke Johnson in a talented backfield that needed more “oomph.”
Cook will get a chance to shine in Buffalo’s offense, but he’ll need to prove himself over Singletary, Moss, and Johnson. He’s likely the RB2 to start the season behind Singletary, but he shows the most upside out of the group for the future. In this draft, Cook is a top-5 running back, and he deserves to be considered in the second round of rookie drafts. He may start a bit slow, but he brings as much upside as Breece Hall and Kenneth Walker III, considering his landing spot.
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