It's No Surprise That Connor Cook Fell to Oakland in the NFL Draft
After the cut-and-dry top tier of Jared Goff and Carson Wentz, there was a lot of debate at surrounding which quarterback would go next -- Paxton Lynch, Christian Hackenberg, and Connor Cook all had first-round potential according to rumors.
Lynch went in the first round to Denver and Hackenberg went in the second to the New York Jets, but Cook was left waiting on his couch for day three of the draft, when he was selected by the Oakland Raiders with the second pick of the fourth round.
Cook didn't have a particularly impressive senior season, and you'd be hard-pressed to find a category in which he finished top 20 in the nation. His low rankings in yards and touchdowns aren't much of a concern, as those are such volume-based stats, but looking at rate stats and some more advanced metrics, it was pretty ugly.
His 56.1 completion percentage ranked 87th in the FBS, his 3.42 touchdown-to-interception ratio ranked 20th, and his 8.1 Adjusted Yards per Attempt (a stat that weighs touchdowns and interceptions in the traditional yards per attempt measure, which you can find on CollegeFootballReference) ranked 38th.
Looking at ESPN's metrics, Cook finished 23rd in Quarterback Rating, while his 63.9 Passing Expected Points Added ranked 24th and his 59.9 Total Expected Points Added ranked 23rd.
ProFootballFocus has highlighted the inconsistent nature of Cook's game. He's capable of making big plays, with their highest accuracy percentage on throws into "tight coverage" and best deep-pass accuracy percentage in the class, but he's also very inconsistent, with poor short-pass accuracy, a tendency to throw create turnover opportunities with careless throws, and a very weak 53.4 accuracy percentage when under pressure.
Cook in Oakland
While the fourth round is fairly early for a backup quarterback, especially for a team with a starter as young as Derek Carr, Cook is not in the QB1 conversation at all in Oakland.
Carr has finished both of his first two season below the league average in Passing Net Expected Points (NEP) per drop back, but he made huge improvements going into his second year.
The starting job is firmly his.
After such a disappointing 2015 season, and with some alleged character concerns, having some time to sit and develop may do Cook some good, and it will likely be a few seasons before we get to see what kind of impact he can make in the NFL.