Todd McShay responds to comments about concerns surrounding Connor Cook
When Todd McShay said last week that there were “concerns” surrounding Connor Cook’s off-field attitude, it came as a bit of a surprise.
It certainly threw off Ryen Russillo and Danny Kanell, who were picking the ESPN NFL draft expert’s brain about 2016 quarterback prospects.
On Thursday, McShay partook in a conference call in which he addressed his first mock draft and other prospects. Naturally, the subject of Cook came up.
He didn’t back off his original comments, but he did say that about 95 percent of the stuff he was hearing about the Michigan State quarterback was positive.
“Listen, all of this stuff has been printed in other places,” McShay said of his Cook comments. “If you talk to NFL scouts and guys who are spending their entire year investigating, doing background checks and talking to people in town, people on campus, people in the program, there are multiple people that have some concerns about how (Cook) conducts himself, the teammate he is and those sorts of things.
“Now we’re going to talk about this a lot. There are going to be people that come out and say positive things and people who say negative things. I’m just bringing it to light because people keep asking…at this point, I have to give answers as to why I don’t have him in the first round and only have him in the middle of the second round.”
Cook was left out of McShay’s first mock draft of the season. He said there were other quarterbacks — like Paxton Lynch and Jared Goff — that could become better quarterbacks than Cook if in they’re put in the right situation.
But he gave Cook the nod in a different area.
“On the field, I think he’s the most NFL-ready of the quarterbacks in this class,” McShay said.
McShay still wouldn’t get into any specifics about what he heard about Cook off the field. He did get into specifics about what scouts like about Cook on the field.
Still, there’s just one “if.”
“I think right now, Connor Cook — from his ability to read coverage to the game experience he has to knowing how to get out of bad plays and get into good plays, all of his anticipation, trusting his receivers and being able to throw to spots — he does everything you look for,” McShay said. “I don’t he has an elite arm, but I know he has enough arm strength and I think he’s a little bit underrated as an athlete.
“I think he would probably be a first-round pick if everything was clean.”