NFL Draft 2017: Dalvin Cook's 5 best fits include Giants, Chiefs

Dalvin Cook is not a consolation running back for a team that doesn't draft Leonard Fournette. One of these five teams would love him just as much, if not more.

Dalvin Cook isn't a consolation running back for a team that can't pick high enough to get Leonard Fournette in the 2017 NFL Draft.

In most years, without a generational athletic monster in the same class, Cook easily would be ranked first at his position.

While Fournette causes teams to drool for his big-play ability, Cook doing all the little things right makes him the more polished and complete back — much like three-down stud Ezekiel Elliott was coming out of Ohio State last year.

That bodes well for the teams in need of young feature back that will select after No. 13 overall. There's a good chance Cook gets taken in the first round by one of these five teams.

MOCK DRAFT: Cook heads west

NFL Draft 2017: Dalvin Cook's 5 best fits

Philadelphia Eagles

Philadelphia tried to make it work with a combination of Ryan Mathews, Darren Sproles, Wendell Smallwood and Kenjon Barner in Doug Pederson's first season as head coach/offensive play-caller. Sproles provided the biggest spark with his burst in the open field, but there were diminished returns beyond the diminutive dasher, who turns 34 in June.

It would help Carson Wentz for Pederson to roll away from a committee and give the second-year QB a full-load rookie for the backfield. Philadelphia has limited cap space to address RB with a veteran, so if the right wideouts aren't there for Wentz, and Cook is, it shouldn't be a difficult choice at No. 14.

MORE: Jamaal Charles to Eagles?

Indianapolis Colts

As Cook put on a show at the Combine, the team right there in Indianapolis got a nice, long look. Frank Gore put together a good season at age 33, but he has slowed down and lost much of his pop as a runner and receiver.

After Gore's two Indy seasons of high volume, there's a good chance he'll see his overdue steep decline after he turns 34. The Colts need his well-rounded successor to help Andrew Luck with more punch on carries and catches. Cook is built to lead their committee right away and put Gore into more of a complementary role. Their No. 15 pick matches his value.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Doug Martin was either banged up early or benched by Dirk Koetter late during a terrible 2016 season, coming on the heels of the hefty contract he signed last March. Now Martin is opening 2017 with a four-game suspension, putting his time with Tampa Bay on the ropes at age 28.

For some reason — maybe because the Bucs have bucks — they keep getting tied to bigger-name veteran backs in free agency, such Adrian Peterson. But this is the better way to replace Martin. Cook expressed at the Combine how much he would love a Florida State reunion with Jameis Winston. Keeping the Seminoles' all-time leading rusher in-state with No. 19 would provide great support and balance for Winston.

New York Giants

Everyone can cool off on the Peterson-to-New York talk, because it isn't happening. The real question: Is the team sold on the talented-but-still-developing Paul Perkins in a larger role?

The Giants are huge swing pick, as defensive tackle, linebacker, offensive line and even quarterback are among the positional possibilities at No. 23. If Cook were to somehow last that long — Big Blue isn't making a big trade-up for him — he would get strong consideration to be taken.

MORE: Who really is draft's best RB?

Kansas City Chiefs

Kansas City moved on from Jamaal Charles, and the good fill-in season from Spencer Ware wasn't as effective as it seemed. He wasn't totally durable, had trouble finishing in the red zone and really did his best work as an outlet receiver for Alex Smith. Where there's Eagles interest, there's a Chiefs reciprocal effect in the teams' bizarre Andy Reid mindmeld.

Although Cook may not have straight-up speed like that of Charles, his other attributes, including vision, quickness and pass-catching, compare favorably to a younger Charles. The Chiefs have some defensive ends to consider at No. 27, but they can't let Cook slip past them.


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