TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Officially speaking, Dalvin Cook is not a first-round draft choice.
The Minnesota Vikings, however, might see it otherwise. The Vikings on Friday used their first pick of the 2017 NFL draft – No. 41 overall and the ninth pick of the second round – to draft Cook, the unanimous All-American running back from Florida State. Minnesota originally held the 48th pick of the draft but traded up to snag Cook seven picks sooner.
“I’m extremely excited for Dalvin and his family,” FSU coach Jimbo Fisher said. “The Vikings are getting a tremendous player. He changed the numbers on the scoreboard for us here and was as dynamic as any running back I’ve ever been around.
“Dalvin can be a game-changer at the next level. He’s one of the all-time greats to put on a Florida State uniform. He’s also a guy that was a great leader for us and worked as hard as anybody.”
Cook, who watched the draft with friends and family at home in Miami, broke into a broad grin and pumped his right fist when the Vikings announced their selection on the T.V. broadcast.
“It was very overwhelming when I got the phone call,” he said. “I talked to them (the Vikings) earlier in the process. When they called me they said, ‘Are you ready to be a Minnesota Viking?’ I said ‘Let’s make it happen.’ I’m really excited to be a Viking.”
Cook fills a need on a Vikings team that recently parted ways with eight-time Pro-Bowler Adrian Peterson, who signed with the New Orleans Saints last week.
If his college career is any indication, Cook ought to fill those shoes just fine.
A Miami native and former five-star prospect, Cook rewrote both the single-season and career record books during his three seasons in Tallahassee.
His 4,464 career rushing yards are the most in school history, as are his 46 touchdowns and 1,765 yards in a single season. Along the way, Cook earned a reputation as one of the most exciting players in college football, as evidenced by his 125 “explosive” plays (defined as runs of at least 12 yards and receptions of at least 16 yards) at FSU.
That includes 48 runs of at least 20 yards.
LSU’s Leonard Fournette and Stanford’s Christian McCaffrey, each of whom were picked among the top 10 picks in Thursday’s first round, had 88 and 95 explosive plays, respectively.
“When you put his tape on, he’s special,” NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock said. “He’ll make a difference in Minnesota.”
Cook is the 12th Seminole drafted by Minnesota and the first running back. He’ll join former FSU cornerback Xavier Rhodes, a first-round choice in 2013, on the Vikings’ roster.
Seminoles drafted by the Minnesota Vikings
2016: Dalvin Cook, RB (2nd round, 41st overall)
2013: Xavier Rhodes, CB (1st round, 25th overall)
2013: Everett Dawkins, DT (7th round, 229th overall)
2011: Christian Ponder, QB (1st round, 12th overall)
2008: Letroy Guion, DT (5th round, 152nd overall)
1995: Derrick Alexander, DE (1st round, 11th overall)
1995: Corey Fuller, DB (2nd round, 55th overall)
1992: Brad Johnson, QB (9th round, 227th overall)
1988: Paul McGowan, LB (9th round, 237th overall)
1986: Hassan Jones, WR (5th round, 120th overall)
1986: Jesse Solomon, LB (12th round, 318th overall)
1970: Bill Cappleman, QB (2nd round, 51st overall)