The Buffalo Bills traded back twice before selecting running back James Cook with their No. 63 overall pick during the 2022 NFL Draft on Friday, April 29. In order to draft the Georgia alum, Bills general manager Brandon Beane exchanged pick their original No. 57 pick to Tampa Bay for picks 60 and 180, then traded pick 60 to Cincinnati for picks 63 and 209.
If Cook’s name sounds familiar, it’s because he’s the little brother of Minnesota Vikings’ All-Pro running back Dalvin Cook. Four years younger than his older brother, Cook, who’s 5-foot-11 and 190 pounds, made a name for himself at Georgia, and has stats will have many thinking, J.D. McKissic who?
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During his four-year tenure with the Bulldogs, the 22-year-old dual-threat running back recorded 1,503 rushing yards and 14 touchdowns, along with 67 receptions for 730 yards and 6 touchdowns.
Following the selection, Bills Pro Football Focus tweeted, “Last season Cook had a career best 83.4 receiving grade. 4th highest among SEC RB’s,” so it’s easy to understand why Buffalo fans analysts were hyped for the pick. The Bills filled their biggest need, a cornerback, in Round 1 by selecting Kaiir Elam, and drafting a pass-catching running back in Round 2, fills another void on Buffalo’s roster.
While drafting a running back early is considered a too-risky of a move by many, NFL Network Draft analyst Jeremiah said during a conference call on April 21 that it’s the “right move “provided your team is ready to win right now,” and the Bills are “a championship-caliber team right now. You draft a running back, every single one of those carries you would think for the next four or five years is going to be a meaningful, valuable carry.”
When Cook was announced as the Bills’ No. 63 overall pick, a video of the moment shared on Twitter showed the person most excited about the momentous occasion was his big brother.
The newly-drafted Bills star is pumped to be heading to Buffalo. WGR 550 reporter Sal Capaccio tweeted, “Cook said he ‘fell in love’ with the Bills throughout the pre-draft process and that he really wanted to play with Josh Allen.”
The Bills will Host the Vikings During the 2022 NFL Season
Comparisons to his older brother are inevitable, especially because the Bills will host the Vikings at home at Orchard Park during the 2022 NFL season. Cook spoke about the possibility of facing his brother while attending the 2022 NFL Combine last month.
“We going to get after it,” Cook said, per Vikings.com. “If I’m on the other side, I know he’s going to try to beat me, too, by running all over [my team], so I’m going to try to do the same.”
The whole Cook family will likely head to Buffalo for the big game. James and Dalvin have five other siblings: Jameisha Cook, Demarcus Cook, DeAndre Burnett, Daneisha Cook, and Jamiya Cook. Their parents are Vaondria White and James Cook. Unfortunately, Cook’s father James died from complications of diabetes at age 46 on December 29, 2020, per ESPN.
How Does James Cook Compare With His Brother?
James is one inch taller than his brother and weighs 10 pounds less. For the 40-yard dash, James was initially timed as 0.01 seconds slower than Dalvin. While his official time later came in at 4.42 seconds, the NFL Network’s Simulcam seemed to show that Dalvin (4.49 seconds) was faster, per SportingNews.com.
When asked to compare himself to his brother, Cook focused on the one skill they both possess. “Versatile player, can do it all,” he said. “I can line up in different positions. I’m a dawg, I’m a leader.”
He also offered high compliments to his big brother. “Just how he moves with the ball in his hands and he can make guys miss,” Cook continued. “We kind of critique that of each other and make each other better.”
While Dalvin’s college stats blow his brother out of the water, James has the bragging rights of helping the Bulldogs win a national championship this past season. “I just took everything and tried to make the most of it in order to leave my legacy,” Cook said. “I know I had a purpose to help us win a national championship. [Georgia] hadn’t won one in 40 years.”
But Cook has even bigger hopes for his NFL career. “As I get older, I can see myself being one of the top guys in the league.”
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