Drafted: ROUND: 2 - Pick Number: 62 (KC)
Draft Profile: BioBrian Cook attended Mount Healthy High School in Cincinnati, Ohio, where he was given a First-Team All-Southwest Ohio Conference nod in 2016 as a senior. He wasn't highly scouted and received just one scholarship offer - to Howard University in DC.
During 2017-18 Cook played in 21 games and totaled 93 tackles, including 77 solo stops, 17 passes defended, five tackles for a loss, five interceptions with one returned for a 41-yard TD, two forced fumbles, and a pair of fumble recoveries.
His performance led to him being recruited by bigger schools and he transferred to Cincinnati ready for the 2019 season where he was forced to sit most of the season for eligibility reasons.
In 2020, Cook was eased into the lineup where he played in 10 games, started two, and logged 22 tackles, a tackle for loss, 2 pass deflections, and a QB rating when targeted of 103.8.
2021 was by far Cook's best as he was named a team captain and became a leader of college football's best secondary. He put up an excellent set of numbers in logging 78 tackles, adding 35 stops, making 2 interceptions, and a vastly improved 51.9 QB rating when targeted. At season's end, he was invited to the Senior Bowl and was an All-AAC First Team selection.
Scouting Report: Strengths
- Flashes intimidating attitude and will crush tiptoeing receivers across the middle.
- High football IQ who is a natural leader
- Ideal build and length to be a pro strong safety - who could play nickel LB on passing downs
- Outstanding as a tackler who takes ideal angles toward the ball carrier
- Has a well developed pretty backpedal - and the ability to turn his back and mirror the receiver deep
- Good instinct in coverage to trail backs coming on underneath routes
- Very good timing to make contact without drawing a PI call
- Has smooth body control with the fluid ability to plant and redirect in any direction. Plays fast and decisive, arriving to the play with fierce intentions.
- Does a nice job using his eyes to read and react quickly. Smart, disciplined defender who makes plays on the ball and contesting throws.
- Tough and scrappy with forceful nature to be physical at all levels of the field. Has good bulk on his frame to be aggressive in run support.
- Has an NFL frame with strong hands, the ability to close quickly on underneath routes and the size to tackle with a thump.
Scouting Report: Weaknesses
- Only an average athlete - who decided not to work out at the combine
- Can be hesitant in coverage and tends to react to receivers movements rather than gambling with anticipation
- Not a ball hawk or a play maker - satisfied forcing an incompletion over an interception
- Doesn't posses elite speed and will struggle to stay with burners
- Is a bit stiff hipped and doesn't have elite lateral fluidity
- Inconsistent getting off of blocks. Can be a step slow to react when a quarterback comes back to his side of the field late in progression.
- Sometimes lowers his shoulder for the big hit rather than wrapping up securely.
- Not an explosive player and needs to show better bend and flexibility in his drops - plays too high.
Scouting Report: SummaryBryan Cook was a distinctly unremarkable playing heading into 2021 and looked like a probable UDFA prospect, however, following an outstanding 2021 campaign leading Cincinnati's secondary he is now widely viewed as a potential pro starter.
While Cook doesn't have elite workout measurables and lacks some top-end speed he has good football instincts, is good in coverage, is an excellent tackler, and is a major asset in the box as a run defender.
In the right scheme, Cook could become an NFL starter from day one as a hard-hitting strong safety with some coverage skills.
Cook looks to us like a high-floor kind of player who will likely be selected in the fourth round of the 2022 NFL Draft.
Bryan Cook percentiles vs other Safety's (NFL Combine historically - higher value represents better perfomance)
How other scouting services rate Bryan Cook (Overall Rank)
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