Quarterback Connor Cook
ESPN analyst and 2015 Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee Bill Polian:“They’re going to see a guy that makes good decisions, that’s accurate with the football, that can drive the ball. The thing I like best about him was the drive at the end of the Iowa game, the (Big Ten) Championship Game, when he’s obviously playing hurt, and then a year ago against Baylor in the (Cotton Bowl) game, where he went right out there, head-to-head, that was (Sandy) Koufax and (Don) Drysdale going head-to-head, Baylor would score, back he would come. It didn’t faze him one iota. So you like that competitiveness and you like obviously the preparation. He’s gotta be well prepared in order to do that. He’s a guy, again, I think people aren’t talking a lot about him, but they will hear a lot about him come the fall.”
ESPN analyst Todd McShay: “I think the best decision he made was to come back to school for another year. I can’t stress it enough to all of these quarterbacks that are looking at maybe leaving after their junior year. He became more of a student of the game, you could tell just watching his eyes and progressions, he was seeing things faster. He was throwing to spots and anticipating throws. I thought he made a significant improvement from his junior year to his senior year.
“I think he and Kevin Hogan from Stanford are the only two guys that if forced into playing in the NFL next year would be mentally ready to do so. So it speaks to the development that he went through. I thought he was inconsistent in his junior year; (he) showed flashes, but a lot more consistent this past year. I just think this one last year in college really helped him and prepared him, whether he’s forced to start a game or two his rookie year, or just serve as a back-up. But I think he’ll be more prepared.”
NFL Network analyst Charles Davis: “I saw one of those Big Ten Championships, the Ohio State game, and he did some things in that game that we really hadn’t seen. Remember the options that he ran, picked up first downs with his legs, made winning plays down the stretch. That was a game where they just beat them into submission essentially, that was a true pound-green-pound game.
“But he kept blossoming as a player. And I know there’s all this stuff swirling around, he wasn’t elected captain, it was this. Thirty-four and five (record as starting quarterback at Michigan State) speaks volumes about what a guy can do, what his capabilities are, and he’s a guy that’s firmly in the conversation of being a first-round quarterback. It’s a big week for him to talk to the scouts and to the coaches and the teams, but all in all his talent speaks for himself.
“And the last thing I’ll say about him, that he didn’t get enough credit for, I think is toughness. Because that shoulder injury that had him miss Ohio State this year, he came right back and continued to play. He may not have been 100%, but he was good enough to win another Big Ten title. So I think they’ve got to play up that toughness aspect with him because he’s got it.”
Sirius XM NFL analyst Jim Miller: “Well, for me personally, I’m a big fan of Connor Cook. A lot of people have him going in the second round; I think he works his way into the first. He’s a big, strong-armed quarterback, comes with a pro-style offense, well coached at Michigan State. He can get in and out of plays in terms of checks. And he grows. He comes with a lot of wins, a lot of experience, and for me, he’s even played hurt. So I think coaches do look to see if guys are tough guys, and I think Connor Cook is one of those guys. To me, with all the other quarterbacks, there’s probably potentially three to four quarterbacks that could go in the first round, and I think Connor Cook is one of them.”