Looking behind the numbers at a prominent Buccaneers draft prospect, running back Dalvin Cook.
The Buccaneers have work to do at the running back position. Yes, we learned that Doug Martin plans to attend OTA’s next week. That doesn’t guarantee, however, that he will be on the team when the 2017 season begins. The fact is that the position was not good last year. Other than a couple of moments from Jacquizz Rodgers, the production just wasn’t there.
One player that the fan base loves and the team is interested in is Dalvin Cook. He is a homegrown talent from Florida State, and I think we have had some recent success from that school (cough, cough, Jameis Winston, cough, cough). The fan base would be pumped up if the Bucs are able to put Dalvin Cook’s name on that card in the first round.
He’s known as a “home run hitter”, the type of back that can make a big play any time he touches the football. If we take a look at the numbers we see how good he really is. First, here are his career stats (per Sports Reference):
Just look at how often he reached the end zone. He posted 19 touchdowns per year over two years. No matter what level the game is, that is a big number. If that’s not enough, his average yards per carry is simply dominant, and at Florida State, the competition is solid.
We can take it even further, however, by going inside the numbers with Pro Football Focus (subscription required). Some of the best work they do is not with grades, but with advanced statistics that just aren’t available anywhere else. They have extended some of those statistics to the college ranks and they show how talented and complete of a player Cook really is.
The first stat we are looking at is “Pass Blocking Efficiency”. It is great to have a player that can run the rock, but if he can’t pick up the blitz he becomes useless on third and long. The closer the score is to 100, the better. In 2016, in 100 snaps where Dalvin Cook was kept in to pass block he allowed nine quarterback pressures. It broke down to two sacks and seven hurries, leaving him an efficiency rating of 92.8. It wasn’t the best in the country but it doesn’t render Cook a liability either.
The stat that shows his explosiveness is called the “Elusive Rating”. PFF takes his yards after contact, and factors in all of the missed tackles that the player creates to rate how good they are when they have the ball with no help. Last season, Cook ran the ball 288 times and caused 92 missed tackles. He also caught 33 passes and created seven missed tackles. Add that to 4.19 yards per attempt after contact, you have an elusive rating of `129.4, tied for second on the site’s list of all running backs in the draft.
Now that’s a huge number.
Dalvin Cook would make a great Buc, would he not? The numbers certainly say yes.