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Raiders select Connor Cook at 100: Staff reactions, grades

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Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

The Raiders dropped a bombshell on the NFL when they traded picks 114 and 154 to get the #Browns pick at 100. But the fireworks came after the trade when the Silver and Black used the pick to draft Michigan State quarterback Connor Cook. What does the staff at S&BP think of the pick and what grade do they give it?

Tyler Green

This pick was all BPA for the Raiders. Cook was widely viewed as a second round prospect and some analysts even thought he may be taken in the late first round. When he was available on day three, the Raiders couldn't resist and traded up to pass the Dallas Cowboys. This is similar to when the Redskins drafted both Robert Griffin III and Kirk Cousins in the 2012 NFL Draft, that move worked out well for Washington.

Reggie McKenzie learned in Green Bay to stack quarterbacks, and this is a situation where Cook will likely beat out Matt McGloin for the backup position and then the Raiders could flip him for picks in a couple years. Teams are desperate for quarterbacks, Cook could be a great trading piece down the line. Jack Del Rio's son has worked out Cook multiple times over the past few years in San Diego with Cook so the Raiders had first hand scouting and really liked him. At a minimum, Cook gives the Raiders insurance in case Derek Carr gets injured, but he also could be flipped for a higher pick in a few years.

Grade: A

Jeff Spiegal

I think I'm in the minority here, but I actually love the pick. People want to talk about the Raiders needing depth in other places (which is true), but imagine a scenario in which your quarterback is hurt - at that point, no position on your roster is more important than the guy holding the clipboard.

Yes, the Raiders have Matt McGloin at the moment, but he's a free agent next season - and with the way backup quarterbacks are getting paid today, I'd much rather have a rookie with a year in the system under his belt. Of course, if Cook doesn't pan out then you shell out the money for McGloin and move on.

That said, this is a guy many people projected to be taken early on Day 2 - and so his value here in Round 4 was simply too much to pass up. I said last pick you can never have too many pass rushers, but trust me when I say: you can never have too many quarterbacks either. And if you don't believe me, ask Dallas and Cleveland and Los Angeles and Houston and...

Grade: B+

Lei Damien

After the last couple drafts, I honestly didn't think any picks the Raiders made would truly shock me. This one is incredibly surprising. Not just that they took a quarterback, a position that is set with Derek Carr as the starter with Matt McGloin as a solid backup, but because what they gave up to get it. They sent their 4th rounder (114) and one of their 5th rounders (154) to move up 14 spots. Connor Cook is talented, but has accuracy issues and serious questions about his locker room presence and leadership.

They still need a running back and there were great options on the board in Paul Perkins and Devontae Booker. I would be surprised if one of them is still on the board when they pick next at 143. The only logical reasons for this selection is to have value down the road as Green Bay did with the likes of Matt Flynn. But after Del Rio just said yesterday that this team isn't up to the level of the hype, and with needs for upgrades at several positions, they go with ta luxury pick to stash for value down the road?

Grade: D


Connor Cook is a pretty good player. There have been a lot of Michigan State QBs in the league lately such as Brian Hoyer, Kirk Cousins and Drew Stanton. Cook, however, is the best of the bunch. He was a four-year starter as MSU and the whole "not being voted captain" thing is overblown because he was clearly a team leader on the field. Cook had a few decent receivers in his time, but mostly mediocre ones and he made them look good. Even though MSU was a run-first team, teams found it difficult to stack the box because of Cook's arm. 

I don't really get taking a quarterback here, but there's no question Cook is good value because he should have gone in the second round. However, Oakland had more pressing needs such as running back and inside linebacker that they ought to have addressed instead. 


Marcus Allen Krause

Matt McGloin better be ready to compete, because Connor Cook is the real deal and is going to push McGloin for the back-up job. Cook was rumored to go as high as the 1st round before his fall that saw him actually go in the 4th round.

The most interesting part about Cook to me is that he wasn't selected as a team captain by his own teammates at Michigan State. That is an odd thing for the starting QB of a championship quality team to not get enough votes to be a Captain of the team. This has to be considered a red flag, because why would he not have been popular enough with his own team to garner enough votes?

Still, as a 4th round selection this is definitely a steal. Connor Cook is talented and you can never have enough quarterbacks even if he won't be pushing Derek Carr for a starting position. An upgrade to the 2nd string is good, and an investment that they hopefully can trade for a higher pick in the future is also a good thing.

Grade: B+