TAMPA – Dalvin Cook, Dalvin Cook, Dalvin Cook.
No name has been associated more with the Buccaneers and the 19th overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft than that of former Florida State Seminoles running back Dalvin Cook.
For weeks now, whenever the conversation has turned to the Bucs and what it is they might do in the first round of the draft, Cook is the player most Bucs fans and draft analysts mention most.
It’s reached a point now where the Bucs drafting Cook seems like such a foregone conclusion that it will be a shocking disappointment to many if anyone other than Cook turns out to be their pick.
That’s why Bucs fans and Cook supporters may want to start preparing themselves for one of the biggest shocks of their lives.
Look, the word on Cook is that he is absolutely tumbling down draft boards, largely because of character concerns that stretch far beyond the domestic violence issue he was involved in back in 2015.
Cook was eventually found not guilty in that incident, one in which he allegedly punched a woman, but there are other concerns, including some revolving around Cook’s entourage of friends and hangers-on.
No matter the reason, Cook has been “taking on water’’ for weeks now, as NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock said recently, and the latest indication he’s still falling came earlier today.
Now, the reports of the Bucs looking to trade down from 19th overall and possibly even out of the first round of the draft have not been substantiated, but let’s just say they’re true.
And for sake of the argument, let’s say that it’s also true that Cook is indeed the player they want most in this draft. If that’s the case, then why would the Bucs be looking to trade down?
The only logical answer is that they too see that Cook is falling and they see an opportunity to still get him while adding a few picks by trading down and out of the 19th spot.
It’s also possible that the Bucs have decided they no longer want Cook either, no matter how far he falls, and this is simply their way of moving into position to make a more logical selection.
Whatever the answer, we’re only a little more than 24 hours away from getting it, so the Cook-to-the-Bucs speculation is sure to continue for a little while longer.
Perhaps even into the second round of the draft.