Round 4, Pick 100: Connor Cook, QB, Michigan State
The Raiders took another Spartan at pick 100, sending a 5th rounder to the Browns to move up in the 4th and take quarterback Connor Cook, who led the Spartans to a 36-5 record in his three years as a starter in East Lansing. The selection of a quarterback surprised many, but it’s a play straight out of the Ron Wolf book, a book that Reggie McKenzie studied for many years working with Wolf in Green Bay.
Cook won a lot of games at Michigan State but doesn’t have a lot of statistical productivity to show for it, which could be a result of Michigan State’s scheme and style or an indictment of his in-game abilities as a passer. He threw for 71 touchdowns and 22 interceptions over the course of his college career, completing 57.5% of his passes and amassing 9,194 passing yards. He has the prototypical frame and shows flashes of elite arm talent, but has sloppy footwork and mechanics and a number of issues in diagnosing and reacting to defenses, as well as some questions about his heart and leadership ability.
That said, the Raiders didn’t draft him to be a starter or necessarily to even be the #2 guy. Cook will compete with Matt McGloin, who is entering the final year of his contract with the Raiders. It’s likely that the Raiders are looking for the future of the backup quarterback role after McGloin, and perhaps hoping that Cook will generate some trade value for the team down the road.