Any Case Cookus truthers out there?
Well if you weren’t before you clicked on this article, chances are you will be after digesting the undrafted free agent’s highly impressive highlights from his dominant career at Northern Arizona University of the FCS.
The newly signed New York Giants quarterback battled some injuries throughout his time in college. However, when on the field, he flexed legitimate arm talent and high-end accuracy that makes him a plausible threat to crack the team’s 53-man roster this year, and even makes him a dark horse to stake claim to the backup gig behind Daniel Jones.
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Cookus arrived on campus at NAU and immediately nailed down the team’s starting quarterback gig. Not only did he win the job as a true freshman, but he also dominated the competition.
Cookus would go on to throw for 3,111 yards and 37 touchdowns in 2015, leading to numerous accolades. The QB took home the Jerry Rice Award, which is rewarded to the most outstanding freshman in the FCS. He was also named a 1st-team All-Big Sky Conference selection.
Injury History & Production
Cookus and NAU were expected to make major noise in the Big Sky Conference the following season. However, a shoulder injury cut Cookus’ sophomore campaign to just four games. Still, he flashed the type of passing prowess we came to expect from the QB. He recorded 1,100+ passing yards, 13 touchdowns and just one interception over that four-game span, including a school-record seven touchdown passes against New Mexico Highlands. Cookus’ injury earned the quarterback a medical redshirt year.
Cookus would return to the team’s starting lineup in 2017, continuing his dominant ways, throwing for 3,413 yards, 22 touchdowns and just six interceptions. The Lumberjacks would make their first playoff appearance since 2013, ultimately being bounced out in the first round.
Unfortunately, Cookus appeared in just two games for the Lumberjacks in 2018 before yet again suffering another season-ending shoulder injury.
Cookus saved his best for last in terms of collegiate production. The NAU signal-caller topped 4,000 passing yards for the first time in his career in 2019. He would finish the year with 31 touchdowns to just seven interceptions.
Giants Current QB Depth Chart
Daniel Jones is firmly entrenched as the Giants’ starting quarterback in 2020, and hopefully for the foreseeable future if everything goes to plan. However, that hasn’t stopped Big Blue from adding talent/bodies to their QB depth chart following the retirement of Eli Manning this offseason.
New York signed veteran Colt McCoy to a one-year deal during free agency. They also have the uninspiring Alex Tanney still in the fold. Big Blue has also recently claimed former Cowboys QB Cooper Rush off of waivers, reuniting him with his former head coach and now-Giants offensive coordinator Jason Garrett.
However, the most enticing player behind Jones on the depth chart at this moment is clearly Cookus. The young quarterback offers plus-arm talent, impressive ball placement and above-average mobility.
He clearly has an uphill battle to make New York’s roster, competing against the likes of numerous veteran presences. Yet, his skillset gives him an outside chance of beating the odds.
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