Connor Cook says shoulder back to 100 percent

Getty Images

At points over his last couple of years at Michigan State, quarterback Connor Cook looked like a player who could develop into a starting quarterback in the NFL.

He’s generally ranked outside this year’s top three prospects at the position, but how high Cook goes will be affected by the final evaluation process that kicks off with the combine this week. Of interest to teams will be Cook’s right shoulder injury, which caused him to miss one game in November and forced him to play with a brace on after returning to the lineup.

Cook, who has been training with quarterback coach George Whitfield in California, says the shoulder feels back to 100 percent.

“It’s been gradually getting better and better each week,” Cook said, via Bruce Feldman of “I took it easy the first week or so just because that was my first throwing without the brace. I didn’t want to jump out going gangbusters and have any setbacks. I wanted to get a feel for throwing again without the brace because obviously that’s allowing my shoulder to have full range of motion.”

In addition to showing teams that he’s healthy, Cook also expects to field questions about why he wasn’t one of Michigan State’s three permanent captains in 2015. Cook said it was “a big misconception” to infer that there were issues with either coach Mark Dantonio or his teammates because of that.

“People can talk to the coaches, my teammates, my past teammates,” Cook said. “Every one of them would say I was a team leader. I commanded respect every time I stepped inside that huddle. They respected me in the locker room. Talk to any of my teammates. My other thing is, how can you be that successful and win that many games as a team if the quarterback and his teammates aren’t getting along? I don’t think that’s possible. If you have a quarterback and his teammates that don’t get along, you’re probably not going to win a whole lot of games.”

The Spartans won a pair of Big Ten championships and a Rose Bowl in three years with Cook at the helm and his 71-22 touchdown-to-interception ratio had a lot to do with their success over that period. If he satisfies other concerns about his portfolio, that production should convince a team to use a pick in the first two days on Cook’s potential.

30 responses to “Connor Cook says shoulder back to 100 percent

  1. That’s nice. I’m sure someone will take you in the 4th round as a backup, maybe you’ll get lucky and pull a Kirk Cousins.

    If you were hoping for a starting job right away and 1st round selection, sorry, your playoff game won’t easily be forgotten.

  2. “Every one of them would say I was a team leader. I commanded respect every time I stepped inside that huddle. They respected me in the locker room.”
    If you have to say this it simply means you were not a leader.

  3. Anyone know exactly what type of injury he suffered ? There are many players that work well together on the field for obvious reasons. When it comes to off the field time, players don’t have to hang out with guys they do not like. Sounds like he is being well scripted by his agent. He could care less if there was no problem but obviously he is being coached to answer questions in a wide path

  4. smokehouse56 says:
    Feb 21, 2016 12:15 PM

    “Every one of them would say I was a team leader. I commanded respect every time I stepped inside that huddle. They respected me in the locker room.”
    If you have to say this it simply means you were not a leader.

    He was literally asked about being picked as a team captain for three years straight. Your whole point is moot now. Go back under your bridge.

  5. People are talking about who is the next “Ryan Leaf”, or who is the next “Tom Brady”, and that bothers me. I know that history repeats itself, but I don’t think the story for any player can be predicted until after the fact. Comparing Connor Cook to Tom Brady or Ryan Leaf is as foolish as declaring your child to be a criminal or the next United States President. There’s no body of work for Connor yet. Let’s wait and see, and wish him the best.

  6. The loss against Alabama is not on Connor Cook. His offensive line just got dominated. It happens to the best of them. If the Texans are smart they will draft this kid. He won’t have to carry the team that has a really good defense already.

  7. He has to be good, when a maze and blue fan has his back.
    I hope he’s drafted on a team where he can learn for 2 or 3 years behind a good QB.

  8. It’s funny that most of the comments read like they come from people who probably never saw Connor playing. Cook is a winner, a pro-ready QB, and you cannot judge him based on the ‘Bama game, where the o-line didn’t simply show up and he was still feeling the effects of his injury. But, oh well, Le’Veon Bell, Kirk Cousins, Jeremy Langford too if he confirms what he showed in 2015, they were all average to below average talents not coming from a flashy program like, say, Trent Richardson, Eddie Lacy, Rolando McClain, etc…right?

  9. You people who are disparaging him have absolutely no clue what you’re talking about. You obviously didn’t watch him play at all so maybe go take a look at his stats. He’s by far the best pro style qb in the draft and it’s a total and complete joke that guys like North Dakota states qb, who never faced anywhere near the competition Cook did, are considered better prospects by some “experts”

  10. I watched him play at least 10 games between this year and last year.. Not impressed – at fact I thought his backups played with more poise than he did all year in the upset of the Buckeyes thus year.

  11. Yeah I mean he only beat 3 top twelve teams this season without a single standout running back or receiver. All the pieces around him were average to below average except the O line and yet he carried the team to another big ten title. Plus he lost a whopping whole 3-4 games in his 3 years as a starter. What a bum. If you’re just an SEC fan who doesn’t like the big ten or a Michigan fan like the guy above probably is then just come out and say so. Cook is by far the most pro ready qb in this draft and any team that drafts the kid from ND state or really any other qb before him will undoubtedly regret it

  12. That final college game of his really exposed him. He’s a 3rd rounder at best and likely a career backup at the next level.

  13. I’ll take him since none of you want him. And I’ll sit him for 2 years behind a competent starter and then have him as my starter for the next decade.

    Good head for football, decent arm and doesn’t make many mistakes.

    Brady or a Manning? Probably not but with a good team around him a playoff contender every year.

  14. 35-4 as a B1G starter. Best record in the country against ranked teams, beat Ohio State home, away and on neutral site. Two B1G titles. Oh yeah, played in a pro style offense.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!