PFF scouting report: Connor Cook, QB, Michigan State
Below is the PFF draft profile for MSU’s Connor Cook, which incorporates PFF’s college grades and scouting intel from our team of analysts. To see all of PFF’s 2016 scouting reports, click here.
Position fit: Backup QB initially, but can win games as a starter.
Stats to know: +25.3 overall grade ranked 10th in the draft class in 2015, +9.8 overall grade in 2014 ranked 37th in the nation
What he does best:
• Willing to challenge tight coverage. Not scared to fit passes into tight windows and give his receivers a chance
• Had the highest accuracy percentage on passes that were thrown into “tight” coverage
• Can get to his second read and hit open receivers with a quick release
• Best plays feel like a quick read or adjustment
• Accuracy percentage on deep (20+ yard) passes was best in the draft class at 59.4 percent
• Was excellent on third down. Overall grade of +16.8 tied for best in the class
• Outstanding in the 21-30 yard range. His +15.4 grade led the class
• High-risk, high-reward player. The same aggressiveness that creates big plays also gets him into trouble
• Throws “YOLO balls” into zone coverage. Often careless with the ball and just throws it up
• Short area accuracy is inconsistent at best. Graded at -2.3 on passes thrown in the 1-10 yard range
• Turnover-worthy throw percentage of 4.07 percent is higher than the other top quarterbacks in the class
• Struggled under pressure as his 53.4 percent accuracy percentage ranked 23rd in the class and only one of his 24 touchdowns came while pressured
• Does not always set his feet when working to second or third read. Leads to some of his inconsistency
Bottom line: Inconsistency is the name of the game for Cook, whether that’s down-to-down or game-to-game. His aggressive style may actually lead to NFL wins as he’s more than willing to give his wide receivers a chance to make plays, but that same style will likely cost his team games as well as he throws too many passes into coverage. He’s also very inaccurate on shorter passes, so it’s boom or bust for Cook. Even on a week-to-week basis, he graded negatively four times, but also posted two of the top grades of the season in games against Rutgers and Indiana. If Cook is given a chance to start, there will be healthy mix of great and bad, so his future team simply needs to be ready for the roller coaster ride.