Despite His Poor NFL Combine, Dalvin Cook Isn't Completely Doomed

Dalvin Cook was borderline miserable at the NFL combine, but that doesn't mean he won't produce in the NFL.

Heading into the NFL combine, Dalvin Cook was sitting pretty. Based on analysis, scout rankings, mock drafts -- everything, really -- he was locked in, for the most part, as this year's second-best running back prospect.

Leaving the NFL combine, Cook's professional potential isn't looking as hot.

Cook's 4.49 40-yard dash at 210 pounds led to an above-average weight-adjusted time, but that's where the good news ends. His 3-cone, 20-yard shuttle, broad jump, and vertical leap were all very below average, leading to an overall athletic profile that doesn't exactly fit the bill of a first-round running back.

In fact, Cook's SPARQ score -- a measurement of overall athleticism based on combine numbers -- places him in the ninth percentile among NFL running backs. According to SPARQ guru Zach Whitman, no running back with that poor of a score has been drafted in the first round since 1999.

Nevertheless, there's a chance Cook still gets selected in the first round of this year's draft. And if that's the case, things don't look completely awful.

Using our NFL combine algorithm, here's a look at Cook's top measurable comparables among backs drafted in the first round over the last decade and a half:

Year Player Selection Percent Match
2011 Mark Ingram Round 1, Pick 28 90.72%
2009 Knowshon Moreno Round 1, Pick 12 87.01%
2007 Marshawn Lynch Round 1, Pick 12 86.90%
2008 Rashard Mendenhall Round 1, Pick 23 86.06%
2008 Felix Jones Round 1, Pick 22 85.46%

For a little more detail, here's their individual combine measurables:

Player Height Weight 40-Yard Dash Vertical Broad 3-Cone Shuttle
Dalvin Cook 70 210 4.49 30.5 116 7.27 4.53
Mark Ingram 69 215 4.62 31.5 113 7.13 4.62
Knowshon Moreno 71 217 4.50 35.5 115 6.84 4.27
Marshawn Lynch 71 215 4.46 35.5 125 7.09 4.58
Rashard Mendenhall 70 225 4.41 33.5 117 N/A 4.18
Felix Jones 70 207 4.44 33.5 124 6.90 4.19

Now, the majority (all) of these players are much more athletic than Cook. That shouldn't be much of a surprise considering his SPARQ score would make him a first-round running back outlier.

But one player that really stands out is his top match, Mark Ingram, who had pretty similar numbers across the board. Cook, too, had comparable college production during his final season versus Ingram's big Sophomore campaign at Alabama.

Statistic Ingram Cook
Att/Game 19.36 22.15
Att Market Share 45.09% 55.60%
Yds/Att 6.12 6.13
Yds Market Share 55.06% 67.11%
Rushing TD 17 19
TD Market Share 54.84% 57.58%
Receptions/Game 2.29 2.54
Receptions Market Share 15.09% 13.52%
Rec Yds Market Share 12.69% 14.21%

This isn't to say Cook warrants a top selection in April's draft, because I'm sure if a team knew they were getting Mark Ingram, they'd pass. But he's not completely doomed, I suppose.