Mobile Analysis: CB Chris Cook

The Chicago Bears could use another corner, with Charles Tillman always injured and Nathan Vasher certain to be a goner soon. Chris Cook, a four-star prospect from Virginia, fits the Cover-2 mold.

Not too long ago, after signing both Charles Tillman and Nathan Vasher to long-term contract extensions, the Monsters of the Midway were thought to be loaded at the cornerback position.

Some of the young guys also showed real promise, with Trumaine McBride stepping in for an injured Vasher in 2007 and playing better than everyone expected, and then Corey Graham got the call in 2008 when Vasher went down and performed equally well. But now Vasher is a shell of his former self and hardly saw the field this season, McBride was waived/injured back in September and signed a futures contract with the Cardinals on Jan. 22 and Graham can't keep his head from spinning after being jerked from corner to safety to nickel – also known as the Danieal Manning treatment. While Zack Bowman showcased his skills in 2009 with six interceptions, D.J. Moore didn't impress as a rookie and was a fixture on the game-day inactive list.

Because the Bears are infatuated with bigger-and-stronger corners since they tend to fit securely in the Cover 2, Chris Cook of Virginia may be someone general manager Jerry Angelo should consider in Round 3.

For an insider's perspective on the 6-2, 212-pound Cook and what he brings to the table as a pro prospect, consulted with Chris Steuber, the NFL Draft analyst for ...

Strengths: Cook is a well-built cornerback who has great upside. He has fluid hips and transitions well in coverage. He's physical throughout his coverage and uses his frame to box out the opposition. He does a great job of reading receivers and quickly breaks on the pass. He has soft hands and is always a threat to create a turnover. He's instinctive and has a good burst upfield to help against the run. He's not afraid of contact.

Weaknesses: He's physical, but he allows the opposition to get a clean release off the line too often. He's not smooth in his backpedal and is indecisive in coverage. He has to wrap up better when tackling.

CB Chris Cook
University of Virginia Athletics

Steuber Says: Cook didn't play during the 2008 season because he was academically ineligible. but he bounced back and had a solid showing in 2009. He played in all 12 games, recording 40 tackles and four interceptions. He has the size that scouts desire from a corner, so he will match up well with some of the taller receivers. In a deep cornerback class, Cook is a wild card and could be a steal late.

JC's Take: I have been an advocate of moving Tillman away from cornerback for quite some time, as the things he does best – run support, forcing fumbles – are invaluable at free safety.

Even though he intercepted a bunch of passes his first few years in the league and made a Pro Bowl in 2005, Vasher was never a good match for the Cover 2 and it was a matter of time before he got exposed as a square peg trying to fit in a round hole. Now he battled a groin problem most of 2007 and then had a hand-slash-thumb issue that nagged him most of 2008, but he claimed to be fully healthy during training camp this past summer and was nothing short of dreadful, opening the door for Bowman to take his job. With a $2.95 million salary on the books for 2010 but no chance of being a starter again, Vasher has surely played his last game in the Windy City.

There is more room on the roster for a big youngster like Cook than a small veteran like Vasher, and even if Tillman is going to remain at corner, some scouts feel Cook could play free safety one day if given the chance.

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John Crist is the publisher of Chris Steuber is the NFL Draft analyst for

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