Todd McShay: Scouts have serious concerns about Connor Cook off the field
As one of the top quarterback prospects in the 2016 NFL draft, Connor Cook is going to be under a microscope. Scouts will pick apart a possible first-round prospect like Cook to make sure he’s the guy worth building an offense around.
Apparently there are already some major doubts about that among NFL scouts.
ESPN NFL draft insider Todd McShay joined “Russillo and Kanell” on Wednesday, and the subject of Cook’s draft stock came into play. McShay gave some surprising answers.
Here’s a snippet of the back-and-forth that followed:
Danny Kanell: Do you think Connor Cook helped his draft stock, hurt it or stayed the same?”
McShay: On the field — helped. Off the field, there’s some real questions. It’s amazing. Everyone I talk to, whether it was the fact that he was not a captain, just the way he carries himself, it’s a little bit of the Jay Cutler, where it just kind of turns people off.”
Ryen Russillo: Are scouts saying this, too?
McShay: Oh yeah.
McShay: Yeah, that’s where it started from. All the NFL scouts out there doing their due diligence on him, so that’s gonna be the big thing. Now, he doesn’t have the strongest arm in the world and there’s some minor things in his game that are not great. But I really believe that he would be a first-round pick if he was clean or perfect in terms of the intangibles and the personality you’re bringing in.
Kanell: He didn’t help himself either at the ceremony where he snatched the (B1G Championship MVP) trophy.
Russillo: It looked bad, but you can kind of just be an out of it kid that just won the Big Ten title heading to the playing going, ‘Hand me my trophy.’
McShay: If there was no other smoke, I think people would’ve given him the benefit of the doubt. There’s a lot of smoke though.
Russillo then asked McShay if he could share other examples that rubbed scouts the wrong way. McShay said that he wouldn’t go into that quite yet, but just that there were “people in town that weren’t Cook’s biggest fans.”
Cook hasn’t faced any serious punishment for anything he off-field issues in East Lansing. In the latest CBSSports.com mock draft, Cook is slotted as the Houston Texans’ pick at No. 18 overall.
The nation’s second winningest quarterback also earned first-team All-B1G honors and he won the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, which is presented annually to the nation’s top fourth- or fifth-year quarterback.
The MSU senior would certainly help his draft stock if he’s able to lead the Spartans past a loaded NFL-ready Alabama defense in the Cotton Bowl.
If what McShay said is accurate, the pre-draft interview process might hold just as much weight as a College Football Playoff victory.