James Cook
James Cook is the obvious RB sleeper for the 2022 NFL Draft. It’s a joke Cook isn’t getting more hype during the lead up to the draft. (Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports)

James Cook Is The RB Sleeper For The 2022 NFL Draft

Running backs may or may not be a dime a dozen, but finding the gems in the later portion of the draft is the real trick to the trade. Every year it seems like we get 1-2 studs taken after the second round in every draft. It seems like Rhamondre Stevenson is that guy from this past year (AND I’m glad I have him in fantasy for cheap). This upcoming year for the 2022 NFL Draft, there has never been a more obvious candidate. It’s James Cook. Don’t think twice.

I really don’t understand why there is so little hype? His brother is Dalvin Cook. Look, not all brothers are the same, but I’m having a hard time finding a difference. James looks like Dalvin, moves like Dalvin, runs like Dalvin, and catches the ball out of the backfield like Dalvin. James just isn’t quite as big and isn’t given the lion share of carries at Georgia. Soooooo?

Speaking of which, I have a hard time understanding this one. Nick Chubb was ripped because he split time with Sony Michel in college. Think about how dumb that sounds now… The Georgia Bulldogs are the most talented team in college football. Zamir White, Kenny McIntosh, Kendall Milton, and others exist. Guess what? There isn’t a single running back in the country that’s dominating the carries at Georgia. Just a reality.

Which leads me to my next point. We have people bashing Cook or not giving him the credit he deserves because his volume stats aren’t great? Make it make sense! Let me give you an example:

I tend to peak Walter Football maybe once a month to see where they stand with players. Not that I really care about their opinion. It’s just one of the few places that have positional big boards out there. This is what they have on James Cook:

12/4/21: Cook splits carries in Georgia’s crowded backfield. He’s been solid rotational back for the Bulldogs and would be the starter at most schools. For the NFL, Cook looks like a backup running back who could be a special teams contributor.”

So let me get this straight… You think Cook would be a starter at most schools but because he splits time on the most talented team in college football, you think he looks like a backup and special teams guy? Go smoke more crack. WTF.

Walter Football also has Cook ranked as the 22nd RB in the 2022 NFL Draft class. They have him ranked behind Travis Dye (who’s not even close to CJ Verdell), The Rutgers guy Pacheco, UCLA’s backup Brittan Brown, Shit head Master Teague (who really flat out sucks), and whoever the hell the South Dakota State RB is. What the actual f*ck are we doing here?

Cook is averaging 6.4 yards per carry and almost 10 yards a catch in the toughest Conference in America playing behind a team that has a walk on joke of a quarterback. Did I mention he’s Dalvin Cook’s brother? Did I mention he does things like this?

Yup, totally normal for a running back to be split out all the way wide and to burn an Alabama corner. Yeah, those guys grow on trees. Do we see how stupid this is? The 40 time is going to be there. He can catch (obviously). There are no fumbling issues. The explosion is there. Oh, and why the hell isn’t it viewed as a positive he wasn’t run into the ground in college. I know the talent is there. I’d rather have the guy not be burned out by the time I draft him.

I have no idea where Cook is getting drafted but it doesn’t sound very high from everything I’ve read. We’re easily talking about a guy who could easily wind up as the best guy from this class. The only sure fire home run I see is Isaiah Spiller and he’s not perfect. Might actually be too tall if that’s a thing. Kenneth Walker is the talk of the town (and rightfully so) but a year ago this guy was a bum at Wake Forest. It’s not like there’s seven or eight monsters that should be drafted high.

All I know is that if I’m an NFL general manager, I’m not leaving the draft without Cook. It would be stupid to not take him in the later rounds. You’re telling me I can get a smaller less proven Dalvin Cook for free? Why would I not do that? There are going to be several running backs taken ahead of Cook and two years later we will all have a good laugh about it.

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