There’s no question in my mind that the 49ers have a plan for under-achieving CB Chris Cook. A player that was burned multiple times in 2013, the 49ers hope a new change of scenery will help revive his once promising career. A former second-round pick, Cook’s rare blend of size and speed were attributes many NFL teams coveted. However, he has since been considered a bust and as a result will now look to bounce back in 2014 behind starters CB Tramaine Brock and CB Chris Culliver.
Cooks’ greatest asset is his height. At 6-foot-2 and 212 pounds, he has the ability to be a big asset in press coverage inside the redzone. Many NFL teams like to use fade-routes to take advantage of smaller cornerbacks but that won’t work against Cooks.
So far in camp, Cooks can be easily spotted as his stature separates himself from his peers, but it’s his ball-hawking ability that’s a cause for concern as they are considered “stone-like” in my opinion. Cooks dropped not one, not two, but three easy interceptions as the ball came right to him only to see the ball hit the ground.
Sound familiar? Remember, CB Carlos Rogers had the same reputation after coming over from the Washington Redskins and somehow managed six interceptions in 2011 on his way to a Pro Bowl campaign. I’m not saying Cooks is going to have a Pro Bowl season, but it can be done.
49ers’ DC Vic Fangio alluded to Cooks’ struggles tracking the ball in flight and said the only way to get better is through “repetitions.” Whether that’s ball drills or learning to attack the ball at it’s highest point while bodying up the receiver, Cooks will need to show significant strides as a playmaker if he hopes to see playing time in 2014. A good indicator of Cooks progress will be training camp as that will determine how far along he has come along. We will just have to wait and see as Cooks is the epitome of a hit-or-miss prospect that may start in 2015 if Culliver is not retained.
What are your thoughts Forever Faithful? Do you think Cooks will turn out to be a nice free-agent acquisition or a free-agent dud?