The Cowboys are looking to acquire a QB to compete with Kellen Moore and quarterback guru, Jon Gruden, said he really likes Connor Cook at the top of this draft; given all of the quarterbacks he’s studied.
Jon Gruden (via conference call) shared his evaluation of the top quarterbacks entering the 2016 NFL draft. His reverence of Connor Cook prompted me to take another look at the Rose Bowl MVP, and I have to admit, he is on to something here.
If you listen closely to what Jon Gruden had to say about the other potential prospects for the Cowboys, (Including Wentz and Goff) he made it pretty clear that knocks on Cook such as his completion percentage are unfounded opinions. Why? Because Connor Cook was taking a lot more shots deep down the field rather than padding his stats with a bunch of high percentage short passes.
Jon Gruden said, “I’m a big believer in body of work and [His] body of work at the college level is as good as anyone in this draft and in many drafts that I’ve seen in recent years. … He’s 34-5, and he beat 5 top 10 teams. He’s the all time leading passer at Michigan state. He had a chance to red-shirt for one full season and watch Kirk Cousins: I think that’s beneficial.”
“I love the system of football that this kid comes from. He’s not completing a bunch of pop screens and bubble screens and quick screens like all these other quarterbacks.”
“He’s coming out of the huddle, and he’s ripping it down the field. … Is he perfect? No. … But I really like his body of work. I like the level of difficulty that he thrives under. He’s brought his team back to win 6 times. He’s the MVP of the Rose Bowl. I saw what he did in the Cotton Bowl and he’s played through some injuries, once again helping Michigan State get to the Big 10 Championship. He’s 6-4, over 220 pounds.”
“I really like him at the ‘top’ of this draft, given all the other prospects that I’ve studied.”
Jon Gruden spent time with all of the top prospects in this draft when they attended his QB camp. In reality, he has more insight on these quarterbacks than any of us that just study their tape. He had the opportunity to get inside their head, test them on the chalk board and see how they function doing what is expected from an NFL QB. We haven’t been afforded the opportunity of seeing them play under center; let alone in a Pro Style Offense.
Most draft pundits are not taking in to consideration how well these kids will translate to the speed of the NFL or a Pro Style offense. I know this much, if you watch the tape, Carson Wentz has very poor accuracy on deep passes. He wasn’t asked to pass near as much as they do in the NFL and if he thinks he is going to be running up the gut as often in the NFL, he’s pretty damn green. He will have a very short career. These are not under sized DII players that will be laying the wood on him. I will stand behind my assessment that Kevin Hogan and Connor Cook are the only two NFL ready and mentally prepared quarterbacks in this class.
Jon Gruden’s QB Camp special with the former Michigan State quarterback aired Saturday, and he believes Cook should be a first-round pick.
“My old boss Al Davis would have loved Connor Cook,” Gruden said Thursday on a teleconference. “This kid pushes the ball down the field. He’s one of the guys in this draft that made me make funny sounds when I was watching him – clapping, crowing, going ‘Whoa! What a throw!’ ‘Ahhh!’”
Cook met with Gruden earlier this month. Their QB Camp special debuted at 4 p.m. Saturday and will run 11 more times on ESPN’s networks between then and next week’s NFL draft.
There hasn’t been a Big Ten quarterback drafted in the first round since Penn State’s Kerry Collins was picked by Carolina at No. 5 overall in 1995. Earl Morrall is the only MSU quarterback taken in the first round, at No. 2 by San Francisco in 1956.
Cook is hoping to end those droughts when the first round is held next Thursday in Chicago.
“All these prognostications of where guys should go and will go are two stories that are fun to talk about,” Gruden said. “But Connor Cook in this draft, based on all the other prospects and the need at the position, should go in the first round.”
“He made some jaw-dropping throws in the Rose Bowl. He pushes the ball down the field. I love that about him,” Gruden said. “He’s got a great amount of experience, he’s got size and athleticism. And he’s gotten results. I don’t know anyone else that has won 34 games at Michigan State.”
I don’t know about you, but I trust Jon Gruden’s opinion over any journalist. This is a guy that went to an AFC Championship and won a Super Bowl with very average quarterbacks that he had to no only coach up, but scheme to their strengths. I just hope for the Cowboys sake, he or Kevin Hogan falls to a later round.