The NFL Combine is underway, and all 32 NFL teams actively partaking in the event. An important part of the combine is one-on-one meetings, and the Indianapolis Colts are scheduled to have one with Dalvin Cook.
The running backs are one of the first position groups to arrive at the NFL Combine every year. In fact, Cook and the other invited running backs have been in Indianapolis since February 28th.
They have been working out and interviewing with teams since then and will continue to do so until March 3rd.
There has been plenty of speculation that the Colts are entertaining the idea of drafting Cook with their first round pick. A good percentage of mock drafts are predicting that will be the move the team will ultimately make.
With that in mind, it makes the Colts’ interview with Cook much more telling and intriguing. The Indianapolis Star’s Stephen Holder was the first to report the meeting was scheduled.
It is hard not to overreact to this news. Cook is projected to be a Top 15 draft pick next month, which means he could be available for the Colts to take.
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His talent speaks for itself. Cook rushed for 4,464 rushing yards and 46 touchdowns. He left Florida State as its career rushing leader and broke Warrick Dunn‘s single-season record this past year with 1,765 yards.
Given his numbers, it will be hard for teams to pass on Cook, especially for teams that need a running back. Indianapolis is one of those teams.
While the Colts have starting running back Frank Gore, he turns 34 this year. Meanwhile, last year’s backup Robert Turbin is a free agent, and scat back Josh Ferguson did not prove he is a stable third option.
If the Colts took Cook, their offense would be devastatingly explosive. They already have quarterback Andrew Luck and receiving threats in T.Y. Hilton and Donte Moncrief. Cook would give them another big play threat.
With Indianapolis’ need for a running back and Cook’s college numbers, this feels like a no-brainer. However, the Colts are in a very complex situation.
Owner Jim Irsay fired the last general manager Ryan Grigson because he primarily could not build a defense. As a result, the franchise has holes at every level of their defense.
Does new general manager Chris Ballard want to start his tenure with an offensive pick when defense is clearly the problem?
Also, the running back class is stacked this year. According to one anonymous scout, there are “30 draftable running backs” and it is the “best” class he has seen. One would argue this is another reason why the Colts should pass on Cook because they can find a future starting back later.
Obviously, one meeting does not lock the Colts into drafting Cook, but as Holder pointed out, it does have significance. Given Ballard’s reputation, this meeting with Cook shows the new general manager is think about taking the FSU star with his first round pick.
Cook and the running backs will be in Indianapolis for one more day to do their on-field tests. The entire combine will conclude on March 6.