The Tampa Bay Buccaneers may or may not draft Dalvin Cook in the first round in two days. We don’t know what will happen there. What we do know: a lot of teams have concerns about the Florida State running back’s off-field behavior.
In a deep dive into those issues, The MMQB’s Robert Klemko dug up a lot of mitigating circumstances, some stuff that is just bad decision making, and one dude who’s apparently planting a lot of false rumors with teams.
Whatever the case, Klemko does know that a lot of teams are skittish about Cook as a result.
Taken individually, all of the incidents surrounding Cook can be explained away by allies painting him as a victim of circumstances. But several teams have judged Cook as a chronic off-field concern, and a player who isn’t worth the headache. Of the nine teams polled by The MMQB, three said they had no interest in Cook because of his off-field track record. Said one NFC general manager, “he’s not off our board, but there are many concerns.”
Cook says he didn’t prepare for combine interviews with a paid tutor, like many of his fellow prospects now do. One team was dissatisfied enough with Cook’s interview that they eliminated him from consideration for their first-round pick.
Not preparing with a paid tutor seems like a particularly poor move given the many off-field question marks. But other than that, it’s hard to judge how seriously to take these incidents.
Most of the incidents are minor, but the charge of punching a woman is particularly serious—but then he was found not guilty for that, and both the accuser and his team agreed that he was initially trying to pacify the situation. Oddly enough, that most serious accusation is the one thing Klemko didn’t really go into.