Stock Rising? CB Cook Could Earn Starting Nod

Posted by Mike Wobschall on August 27, 2010 – 7:01 am

With CB Cedric Griffin’s status for the early part of the 2010 season in question because of a knee injury he suffered in the NFC Championship Game, the Vikings made sure to bolster their depth at CB heading into the offseason program. They did this by signing free agent Lito Sheppard, re-signing Benny Sapp, continuing to develop Asher Allen and drafting Chris Cook.

With so much competition on the depth chart for that starting spot, including a pair of veterans with a solid body of work in the NFL already, it’d be a tall task for a rookie such as Cook to earn the job. But with just 13 days to go until the Vikings regular season opener in New Orleans, Cook may end up tackling the task.

Chip Scoggins of the Star Tribune wrote earlier this week that Cook may start at right CB on Saturday evening against the Seattle Seahawks, a significant development for 2 reasons: 1) Saturday’s game is the 3rd preseason game, which is considered a “dress rehearsal” for NFL teams as the regular season approaches and 2) Cook has been spending most of his time in training camp and the preseason playing left CB behind starter Antoine Winfield.

For one reason or another, the Vikings have decided to insert Cook into the competition on the left side with Allen and Sheppard. It could be that the coaching staff is seriously considering him as a starter. Or it could be the coaching staff just wants the 2nd round rookie to experience both CB positions.

Either way, I view these developments as a positive sign of Cook’s future with the Vikings. At 6-2, 212 pounds, Cook has excellent size for a CB in assistant head coach/defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier’s scheme. And while his size and physicality are good, I’ve also been impressed with his ability to make plays on the ball. In one training camp practice 3 weeks ago, Cook made 2 INTs down the field where he battled a WR. If he can consistently come up with those plays downfield, he has a legitimate chance to be an all-around solid CB, with the ability to cover WRs downfield but also come up and support the run.

For now, though, we’ll temper the enthusiasm and let Cook’s play speak for itself. That is the approach the Vikings coaching staff is taking.

“He’s done some decent things over there,” Childress said of Cook playing on the right side. “That’s where he played his senior year. He played left before that. We’re worried a little bit about the footwork. I think he’s done some okay things over there. I think he’s probably more comfortable just because he spent all those turns at training camp on the left, but we’ll get a chance to see him play over there a little bit.”

Said Frazier: “Well we want to get through this next ballgame and get a chance to evaluate this third preseason ballgame. Chris will get some reps, Asher will get some reps and so will Lito. And then we will try to put together what we have seen over training camp and preseason games and try to make a decision.”

If Cook performs well on Saturday night and winds up with that starting job for Week 1, it says more about his development than it does about the inability of Allen or Sheppard to win the job. Credit goes to Vikings VP of Player Personnel Rick Spielman and his scouting staff, along with Childress, for selecting Cook early in the 2nd round after trading out of the 1st round. If you remember, Cook was regarded by many as a notch below other CBs in the 2010 draft, such as Joe Haden, Devin McCourty, Patrick Robinson and Kyle Wilson.

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Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 16 Comments »

16 Responses to “Stock Rising? CB Cook Could Earn Starting Nod”

  1. By Max on Aug 27, 2010 | Reply

    Chris Cook could be that elusive 6-2 cornerback that every team looks for in the draft. If he turns out to be a quality starter, the Vikings may have found themselves a steal in the second round.

  2. By Carl K on Aug 27, 2010 | Reply

    I like this move! Get Cook some playing time. Shephard has NOT been durable over his career and I think he has lost a step little over the last couple of years. When Cedric is ready, what will the Vikings do? I hope we move Cook back to the left and Winfield to safety for Madieu. Madieu looks silly with some of his angles that he takes. He never seem to be in good position.

  3. By Bleedin Purple on Aug 27, 2010 | Reply

    Winfield will be staying at CB. Doesn’t make sense to move him to Saftey that idea is silly. Aside from him being a beast at his current posistion the way he plays and attacks the ball I think he would end up getting hurt taking someones head off…

  4. By Ajeeth on Aug 27, 2010 | Reply

    Vikes should rope in WR antonio bryant from cincy as he is going to be cut from roster

  5. By MGR4FUN on Aug 27, 2010 | Reply

    good info mike as always … i agree the purple front office deserves another at-a-boy for this draft pick and the way in which they manipulated the draft positionin to get mr cook where they did and still allowin the selection of mr gerhart right behind mr cook in the 2nd round … i actually think the skill package of this young db are bein downplayed considerably he is gonna be a standout in fact he already is … when i heard ‘tione winfield say he was lookin forward to gettin to play with this young man on the field together i was reasonably certain he was gonna turn a bunch of heads and he obviously has … we now hav an excellent mix of youth and experience at the corners and i am goin on record as sayin the same is true of the safety positions as well … i am so ready for them to crank it up for real …

  6. By VikingsDx3 on Aug 27, 2010 | Reply

    I don’t have much to say, other than I really like what I’ve seen with Cook so far, and I want to see more of the potential I think he has to offer in these next few weeks before the season starts.

  7. By Malte on Aug 27, 2010 | Reply

    I really enjoy how people while the draft went on, kept saying, why draft this cb, he haven’t made a name for himself.. well he already caused a fumbel, been called a stand-out in special teams, and is doing great in traning camp… give this guy the credit he deserves. i think he will be good for our team in years to come :) great pick

  8. By Rogerthevikefan on Aug 27, 2010 | Reply

    I watched he play at college and he was a beast. I was very happy with the vikes drafting this monster of a corner. Now watch him take cal johnson out of a game.

  9. By Beltshazzar8 on Aug 27, 2010 | Reply

    The Vikings need Cook to step up. Week one they team up against the best passing offense in the NFC. The game is going to be a shootout regardless, but if Cook isn’t up for the task; we could see the Saints put up 35-40 with ease.

    I will wait to hand out credit, but if he does end up being the Vikings starter for the future, cudos to Spielman and his crew, though the success of the Cook pick may be erased by the Gerhart pick.

    Skol Vikings!

  10. By Old School on Aug 27, 2010 | Reply

    We need that first game soooo bad! WE can not go in there and take a A#$ wipp’in ! We need those first 3 games to start the season…get us to the bye undefeated….and cross our fingers that they weather the storm until Sidney returns…if he returns!

  11. By Pat the Viking on Aug 27, 2010 | Reply

    I would like to see that game – watch the re-run of us and the 49ers – Love the way Webb can hustle – as fast as he moves – he could have threw it and caught it in the EZ !

  12. By Derick on Aug 28, 2010 | Reply

    Chris Cook real deal.
    he was the second fastest db @ the combine.
    he has exceptional range and size.
    he plays much more physical than his bp numbers would suggest
    he has a knack for breaking up plays and can catch like a reciever.
    he looks better than asher and lito and those two guys are no slouches.
    heres to you rookie do your thing.
    chris cook the real deal.

  13. By rocksalt on Aug 28, 2010 | Reply

    Chris Cook was one of the bright spots last week. he could be what we need in our secondary.

  14. By David on Aug 28, 2010 | Reply

    I have not seen this young man play, but i like what i am hearing from all of you. C. Cook good luck we need all the help we can get in our secondary go vikes

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