Ht – 6’0” Wt – 206lb Class – SR
2021 Stats –96 Tackles, 5 TFL, 1 Sack, 2 INT, 9 PD (14 Games Played)
Career Stats – 124 Tackles, 6 TFL, 1 Sack, 2 INT, 11 PD (21 Games Played)
Tackling – Willing and capable tackler. Bryan Cook was a standout tackler for the Bearcats, and while he didn’t rack up gaudy tackle numbers on the stat sheet, he was as reliable as they come. He hardly missed a tackle. His ability to dive and finish tackles outside his frame and away from his momentum is outstanding.
Range – Lacks speed and twitch to have an above-average range. He’s not slow, so he can cover ground when necessary, but his reactive quickness isn’t great, and he doesn’t have great recovery speed either.
Ball Skills – In terms of pure receiving ability, Bryan Cook is a plus receiver. He has good hands and he tracks the ball in the air very well. As a result, he is also a good pass disruptor. His ability to get his hands in passing lanes is great. As a defender, however, he doesn’t position himself well to make a play on the ball. Too often he was caught waiting behind the receiver for the pass, rather than getting in position to intercept or break it up.
Man Coverage – Not very sticky, but he is reliable and solid. There was truly nothing noteworthy in this regard. It’s hard to imagine his average abilities translating well to NFL talent.
Zone Coverage – His vision is good, leading him to many passing lanes, but even when getting there, his closing speed is average and his reactionary quickness is seriously lacking. These make it very hard for him to be a force in zone coverage, and he hardly makes big plays.
Football IQ – Plays with good vision, but he didn’t have any A+ processing moments. He fills his holes well and occasionally has good positioning, but that’s it.
Size & Athleticism – Has great size for the position, but he is a middling athlete at best. He isn’t twitchy or fast, and his athleticism didn’t turn any heads.
Bryan Cook didn’t turn many heads during his time at Cincinnati, and I believe he is garnering a lot of hype as part of the great Bearcats secondary, rather than as a standalone prospect. As such, I think he is greatly overhyped.
He isn’t fast or big, athletic or quick, smart or powerful. There is nothing he does at an above-average level other than tackling. Additionally, he made practically no impact plays, and was just a cog in the system at Cincinnati, playing quiet and reliable football. That’s not always bad, but he showed no traits that project favorably to the NFL level.
He isn’t an early-round pick, and he doesn’t have the high ceiling to be an intriguing late-round pick either.
Bryan Cook will likely be over-drafted thanks to his teammates’ pedigree, and he has an outside shot at being a solid fill-in starter at times.
See Bryan Cook’s overall ranking among other players on my Big Board.