What a tumultuous NFL Draft for Michigan State Quarterback Connor Cook.
Entering Thursday, many people thought he had a decent chance at becoming a first round pick. We covered the multiple destinations within round one where he could have conceivably landed. If he didn’t go round one, then we almost certainly thought he’d be selected in round two or three on Friday night. However, it didn’t happen as Connor Cook was to night two what Laremy Tunsil was to night one.
Both players endured a Johnny Manziel/Brady Quinn/Rashard Mendenhall like slide down the draft board. Then, right near the top of the fourth round, the Oakland Raiders traded up to grab Cook with the #100 pick. Twitter blew up with opinions saying Connor Cook was “just so Raiders,” and that he was a perfect fit for the Raiders organization stereotype
NFL Network Analyst Steve Mariucci knows his Michigan State football, and greatly enjoys talking MSU football.
“Mooch” as he’s colloquially known, is an Upper Peninsula of Michigan native and BFF to Michigan State hoops coach Tom Izzo.
Mariucci was at Izzo’s post game press conference when the Spartans won the Big Ten Tournament in Indianapolis, and he was also one of the headliners at the NFL Network’s NFL Draft Media Luncheon Wednesday at Gino’s East Pizzeria.
Embedded below is the audio from part of Mooch’s media sessions.
The Michigan State football talk, Connor Cook analysis, and NFL Draft quarterback hierarchy discussion occurs from about the 2:20 mark to the 5 minute mark.
“A guy like Connor Cook, he’s maybe more pro ready than any of those guys, having won more games in the Big Ten in a pro system with a huddle, checking, under center, everything that we ask them to do. His (Mark Dantonio) system is very pro ready.”
“With Connor Cook, they’ve had guys- like Kirk Cousins, $20 million (contract), Brian Hoyer, they had Nick Foles for awhile.”
Then I interrupted the conversation by mentioning with Earl Morrall, “the last of the crew cuts,” who was MSU’s last QB selected in the first round, a very long time ago.
(see 2:10 mark in the video below)
“Way back that’s in the ’60s, c’mon,” he responded.
“Remember Bubba Smith and Clinton Jones went #1 and #2 in ’67. Remember they tied Notre Dame 10-10, Ara Parseghian went for the tie.”
My apologies for the Michigan State trivia there; moving back to the present.
“Connor Cook had a much better college career than all of those guys (Jared Goff, Carson Wentz and Paxton Lynch). Does that mean he’ll have a better pro career?” Mariucci asked rhetorically before answering his own question.
“It doesn’t mean anything, it means he had a better college career. He’s probably going to be the next guy to go (after the main three QBs), it’ll be fun to see what Christian Hackenberg does or Dak Prescott.
“These are good young players that need to sit at learn. They’re not going to be in there day one. They’re going to sit and learn like you should; like Joe Montana.”
Connor Cook had over 48,000 mentions on Twitter last night, and draftniks are blaming his fall on his personality and how he tested in interviews. They seem obsessed with the fact that his MSU teammates didn’t vote him captain of the team. Why wasn’t a senior quarterback named captain by his teammates?
It’s a real life version of the “why didn’t anyone go to his birthday party?” storyline in the Kevin Costner film “Draft Day.” In the end though, he’ll just be a back up to Derek Carr and a developmental pick. Maybe he’s trade bait; that seems to make more sense.
Go here for more on Connor Cook
For more on the big business that is the NFL and the NFL Draft, check out his feature story by CCTV America. I lent my expertise to the piece.
Read it here at this link and watch the video below.
Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net, partnered with FOX Sports Engage Network. and News Now. Banks, a former writer for the Washington Times, currently contributes regularly to the Chicago Tribune’s RedEye publication and Bold Global.
He also consistently appears on numerous talk shows all across the country. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram
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