Saturday, April 4, 2009

Player Profile: Emanuel Cook South Carolina S

Pros: Cook is a strong open-field tackler that loves to light up ball carriers. He shows good leverage and lateral quickness. Cook reads the play quickly and reacts to run-pass almost immediately. He has a knack for forcing fumbles. While playing the run is his forte, Cook does possess solid ball skills. At South Carolina, he was very productive—a regular in the starting lineup since his freshman campaign.

Cons: He lacks the size most teams look for in a strong safety. He does not excel in coverage and also lacks ideal speed. Many question his ability to cover ground as the last line of defense. Cook had some off-the-field issues at South Carolina and was suspended for the final game of the season. He was arrested on a weapons charge (dropped) and had academic issues.

Scouts Take: Cook played in a different scheme at South Carolina, one where he did not have to cover receivers very much and could focus primarily on run support on first and second downs, which is where he flourished. He was a three-year starter before leaving early for the Draft. He is small for the strong safety position and lacks the quickness to play free. He will need to become more mature on and off the field but definitely has the potential to be a solid NFL player due to his great tackling ability. He could be a special teams standout and work his way into the starting lineup next year. He has third- or fourth-round potential.

Photo Credit: SEC Sports Media