After the end of the 2016 NFL season, two things became blatantly clear for the Cleveland Browns. That is to say, the Cleveland offense was as inept as it was for two reasons. Due to their awful defense, the offense easily became tired from lack of rest. However, the horrible defense was not the only culprit in this case. Since the front office of the Browns decided to totally blow up the roster before the season, their offense was devoid of talent. Cleveland’s attack needs a playmaker, and they need one desperately. While Cleveland will likely go defense with the first pick in the 2017 Draft, they might look for an offensive force with number 12. Enter Florida State’s electric playmaking running back, Dalvin Cook.
Why the Cleveland Browns Should Draft Dalvin Cook
Light the Fire
As a player, Dalvin Cook is a spark plug. He can flat-out carry a team on his back and become the featured player on any given offense. As he continues to improve and enters his prime, Cook could be just what the Browns are looking for. While his entire scouting report is incredible, Cook’s skill set might be the most special part of his game.
Cook is downright dynamic coming out of the backfield. His speed, especially when hitting his second gear, is incredible. Cook’s mechanics are sound and finely tuned, and stay that way as the game wears on. Though he may need to work on his small fumbling problem, the potential for Dalvin Cook is incredible. By playing at the NFL level, he can light the fire for the Cleveland Browns’ offense.
If the Browns add Cook into their running back corps, things could get scary for opposing defenses. With the duo of Isaiah Crowell and Duke Johnson already in place, Cook could be the missing piece. Both have shown flashes of tremendous ability, although Hue Jackson has not figured out how to use Johnson yet.
When it comes to this group, adding Cook could be lethal. While Crowell is a power style running back and Johnson is a more shifty runner, Cook is a perfect combination. His finesse moves are dangerous, but he also has the ability to burst through the hole. When and if the Browns can fix their offensive line, Cleveland’s three-headed monster could really thrive.
Pressure is Off
Since coming back to the league in 1999, the quarterback position has been a huge problem area in Cleveland. The drafting ineptitude of the Browns has been horrendous, especially with first-round picks. Since 1999, the Browns have had 26 starting quarterbacks, and none of them have been great successes. Except for Brian Hoyer, who succeeded for whatever reason for a while in Cleveland. Fortunately, the Browns let Hoyer walk as he began to get stale. In any case, the Browns have been horrible at quarterback for almost two decades. Dalvin Cook can help with that.
Cook has the potential and upside of a great NFL running back. And great NFL running backs take the pressure off of their quarterbacks. If the quarterback knows that his guy in the backfield can bail him out, he will have less things to worry about. This makes for better decision-making by the quarterback, and in turn, a better offense. Cook can provide a safety-valve for the Browns and make their quarterback(s) better.
Conclusion and Pro Comparison
Dalvin Cook just might be the best running back in this draft. Although LSU’s Leonard Fournette continues to garner the majority of this draft’s backfield hype, Cook might have something to say about that. Cook can do it all, and he can do it all well. His skill set makes him a jack of all trades. However, Cook might pass up on the “master of none” label. As a running back, he could master many different aspects of the game like few runners today.
As a pro, many scouts have different ideas of who Cook might be. If Cook pans out correctly in a good offense, he just might become Marshall Faulk. While this is fantastic, it may be a bit unrealistic. With the way the Browns could use Dalvin Cook, he could be the second coming of Chris Johnson. Having the reincarnation of CJ2K on the Browns would be music to the ears of Cleveland fans and the Browns’ front office.