Oakland Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie did something that he has never done before, trading up and losing a draft pick to select Michigan State quarterback Connor Cook in the fourth round (100th overall).
The move surprised much of Raider Nation, and even caught Cook off-guard due to the fact that they already have their franchise quarterback Derek Carr.
"I was pretty surprised because I think Dallas was interested in me and they were trying to trade up and I think they couldn’t do it," Cook said on a conference call after being selected. "Then as soon as I saw Oakland trade up, I was talking to my agent and he said they were taking a quarterback. Looking at it, Derek Carr is obviously a great quarterback. [I’m] going to go in there and learn from him, trying to compete obviously, and you have great guys on offense."
Cook was believed to be one of the best quarterbacks available entering the draft, but he fell all the way to the final day after seeing seven quarterbacks get drafted in front of him.
“It’s a lot of motivation. I would say more motivation than anything. Like you said, seeing all the other quarterbacks go when you think you’re a pretty good quarterback, it just motivates you. I’m going to go into this league with a chip on my shoulder and try to earn everything that I achieve.”
For now, Cook is happy to have a new home and is ready to get to work with his new teammates and the offense in place in Oakland.
"You have Amari Cooper, you have some other guys and your play makers at running back and tight end and all that other stuff," Cook said. "I’m glad that I found a home. It was a little bit of a wait, but I’m glad the whole process is over. The whole coaching staff, the ownership there, [Head] Coach [Jack] Del Rio, [General Manager] Mr. [Reggie] McKenzie, talked with [quarterbacks] coach [Todd] Downing already. I’m just happy to be a Raider. I’m looking forward to it. Being out in California is a little better than Ohio weather-wise. Just looking forward to it.”