CFB Chronicles: Dalvin Cook Trudges On

Despite a relatively slow start to his season and a pair of soul-crushing losses through five weeks, Florida State running back Dalvin Cook is starting to pick up steam.

Now just 626 rushing yards away from surpassing Warrick Dunn as the Seminoles’ all-time leading rusher, Cook boasts a legendary level of production in his collegiate career. There’s little doubt he ends up as a top-100 draft pick in 2017, but does he have the skill to become a transcendent RB at the NFL level?

Historic Production

As a sophomore last season, Cook burst onto the national scene finishing with 1691 yards rushing and 20 total touchdowns. He finished seventh in the Heisman Trophy voting. According to Sports Reference, it marked just the seventh time since 2000 that a collegiate RB accumulated 1,600 yards rushing and 15 TDs on 250 or fewer carries.

As far as elite production on a small workload is concerned, Cook finds himself in some rarified air:


Disappointments like Lendale White and Trent Richardson aside, producing on a similar level with the likes of Jamaal Charles, Todd Gurley, Ryan Mathews and Carlos Hyde is enough to catch my attention.

Where He Fits For 2017

As a true junior, Cook will become draft eligible following the season. As with every prospect we profile, let’s assume he does declare. Here’s how his season so far stacks up against two other top-end RB prospects:

Dalvin Cook21.1547.852.743.819.421.3
Leonard Fournette21.7335.832.418.212.38.6
Christian McCaffrey20.3462.9757532.125.9

Using the market share metrics – the percentage of a team’s total statistics gathered by one player – for Cook, and two other high-end RB prospects, Leonard Fournette and Christian McCaffrey, gives us an idea of how we should value Cook in terms of dynasty and real NFL terms.

To be fair, Fournette’s stats are skewed a bit as he has played in just three games while the other two have played in four. And although this article is a profile on Dalvin Cook, I have to say, holy Christian McCaffrey. My ode to him will be coming in a later installment of this series, I assure you.

While Cook may not measure up to McCaffrey, it’s encouraging to see an RB with a large market share of carries and yards, along with a healthy market share of catches. Cook has 65 career receptions, an area of proficiency that NFL teams greatly value.


When discussing concerns surrounding Cook, injuries will inevitably be brought up. Although he’s missed just two games in three seasons, he has dealt with a litany of injuries, including major off-season shoulder surgery.

There’s also the fact that he has amassed 16 percent of his career rushing yards against South Florida, a non-ACC opponent. For comparison, both Fournette and McCaffrey’s have gathered their largest yardage percentages against in-conference opposition – Auburn and USC, respectively.


By imputing Cook’s junior season statistics – along with some scattershot projections for his workout metrics – into the Rotoviz RB Prospect Lab app, we get the following table of comparables:

Ben TateAuburn21.3820102204.346.9120.23104.770.771.5482
Toby GerhartStanford22.7820102314.56.9426.38143.922.150.8579
Demarco MurrayOklahoma22.920112134.377.2820.1486.711.075.0778
Jordan TodmanConnecticut20.8720112034.47.2427.83141.251.171.5878
JJ ArringtonCalifornia21.9520052144.46.8124.08168.171.251.7578
Lamar MillerMiami (FL)20.620122124.346.9418.921060.751.4277
Dalvin CookFlordia State21.120142134.486.95201271.43.876
DeAngelo WilliamsMemphis22.6920062144.456.5728.18178.551.641.0975
Ryan MathewsFresno State22.6520102184.37723150.671.580.9274
Bishop SankeyWashington21.320142094.496.7525.15143.771.542.1573
Chris HenryArizona21.4820072304.46.961552.820.641.9173
Chris PerryMichigan22.0320042204.567.0226128.771.383.2373
LeSean McCoyPittsburgh20.4820092044.56.8223.69114.461.622.4672

This app’s database is applicable up until 2014, but nonetheless, you can see that Cook’s list of RB comparisons is extremely promising.

Even though the RB position has been devalued in the NFL and we’ve seen even extremely talented RBs, like Todd Gurley, struggle to produce at times, it’s highly unlikely that Cook falls out of the top-three rounds should he declare for the 2017 draft.

Dalvin Cook has shown the ability to produce massive numbers on a small amount of carries, as well as be a consistently solid contributor in the passing game. He could easily push to be the 2017 dynasty RB1.


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By Jordan Hoover | @jhoover9787 | Archive

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