Former FSU running back Dalvin Cook justifiably felt slighted after his stock dropped in the 2017 NFL draft.
He’s apparently fueling his anger in the right direction as he is making serious waves in the Minnesota Vikings backfield during OTAs.
With presumed starter Latavius Murray out thanks to off-season ankle surgery, Cook is surpassing expectations and has possibly clawed his way to the top of the food chain.
The rookie has done so well that offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur told reporters that Cook has been killing it since the newcomers reported.
“Well, he certainly caught our eye in the rookie stuff,” Shurmur said at OTAs. “Now that he’s in with the vets, you can still see all the things that we saw. He’s a very instinctive runner. He’ll get his foot down and gets up the field.”
Cook has also made his case by showing that he can handle a number one back’s entire workload.
“He’s actually pretty instinctive when it comes to who to block in pass protection and he catches the ball extremely well,” Shurmur said. “We’re seeing all the same things that we saw from him in his college tape and in the rookie practices. He’s making good progress.”
Either option will require a backfield partner that can pick up blitzes and provide a reliable check down option.
While in Oakland, Murray at times struggled with pass protection despite his playmaking ability.
Expect that trait to weigh heavily on the outcome of this position battle.
Regardless of what happens, the Vikings will excel on the ground with a backfield that also includes Jerrick McKinnon.
As for Cook, he’s more concerned about filling the departed Adrian Peterson‘s shoes.
“I approached the situation, you know, you can’t never replace a guy like Adrian Peterson. He’s going to go down in the Hall of Fame, and in one of my eyes one of the greatest backs I ever watched,” Cook told CBS Sports. “So the only thing you can do is come in and be yourself. I’m going to be the best Dalvin I can be, be the best player I can be for the team and help them win games. Accolades will add up for themselves once we win ballgames and go to the big dance and hopefully win a Super Bowl.”
At this stage, do not bet against Cook who has the power, flash, vision, and dynamics to become one of the NFL’s elite running backs.