The Green Bay Packers are heading into the 2017 NFL Draft with a few different holes to fill. Ted Thompson has been unusually aggressive in free agency this offseason, although they were unable to fill some major defensive needs. Green Bay also didn’t bring in a veteran running back, which could point to a back being taken in the draft at some point.
ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper believes that the Packers could look to fill their running back need in the first round. One of his latest projections has Green Bay selecting Florida State running back Dalvin Cook with the No. 29 overall pick.
Cook is viewed as one of the top playmakers in the entire draft class and would immediately become the starter in Green Bay. At this point in time, the Packers have just Ty Montgomery and Christine Michael on the running back depth chart. Those two players are solid, but they are not ideal starters.
Last season at Florida State, Cook ended up carrying the football 288 times for 1,765 yards and 19 touchdowns. He was one of the Heisman candidates throughout the majority of the season but fell short. Seeing him fall as far as the Packers’ selection would be a bit of a surprise, but Kiper obviously thinks his stock is trending down.
Even though the Packers have other needs heading into the draft, Cook could be the perfect pick for them.
Aaron Rodgers is not getting any younger, and it has become apparent that he cannot power the Packers to another Super Bowl title by himself. Green Bay’s defense needs to take the next step, but the offense has to figure out ways to take more pressure off of Rodgers’ shoulders.
Eddie Lacy looked to be the answer for the Packers in the backfield throughout the first two seasons of his career. Unfortunately, over the last couple of years, Lacy has struggled with weight issues and has fallen off the tracks. After signing with the Seahawks, the Packers can no longer hope that Lacy will get himself back in shape and playing at a high level again.
Standing in at 5-foot-11 and weighing 206 pounds, Cook has the body to be an every-down back in the NFL. He also has shown the ability to make plays as a receiver out of the backfield, which is something every Packers’ running back must be able to do when playing with Rodgers. Cook caught 33 passes for 488 yards and a touchdown last year with the Seminoles.
All of that being said, Cook would add exactly what the Packers need in the backfield with Rodgers. He would add a playmaking ability that Green Bay hasn’t had at the running back position since Ahman Green was in town. Cook would take pressure off of Rodgers and open up the passing game even more.
If Cook does fall all the way to the No. 29 overall pick in the draft for the Packers, they must take him. He may not play the biggest position of need, but Green Bay cannot afford to let that sway them from drafting him.
Expect to see the Packers pick up at least three players who will be immediate impact players in the draft. It is one of the deepest drafts that the league has seen in recent history. Cook’s game should translate perfectly to the next level, and Green Bay would be an ideal landing spot for the Seminoles’ running back.
Do you think the Green Bay Packers are a good fit for Dalvin Cook? Who do you want to see the Packers take in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft? Let us know your thoughts in the comment box below!
[Featured Image by David J. Phillip/AP Images]