Michigan State Coach Mark Dantonio Blasts Detroit News Over Story About Connor Cook’s Personality
Connor Cook continues to be the subject of much post-NFL Draft chatter thanks to his steep fall down the board, and his college coach is not happy about it.
After the Oakland Raiders selected Cook in the fourth round at No. 100 overall, The Detroit News ran a story by Josh Katzenstein with the headline "Personality issues cuaseed Connor Cook's fall in draft." The piece quoted anonymous sources from around the NFL who plainly criticized Cook's character:
While many players fall because of an isolated incident, there was no such issue with Cook, but teams questioned his behavior — off the field and toward teammates.
Cook not being a captain as a senior was an obvious red flag, but considering the undeniable leadership of center Jack Allen, that might’ve been an issue teams could overlook. Instead, as teams questioned Cook’s leadership, they found other reasons to lower his stock.
“His teammates haven’t spoken well of him through the draft process,” one high-ranking NFC scout said. “Just not a leader and doesn’t have top QB intangibles.”
The same scout said there wasn’t an isolated incident that scared teams away from Cook. Instead, it was an overall attitude issue.
“He will get drafted and play,” the scout said. “He has talent.”
But in a social-media age in which any misstep by an NFL player can suddenly become the most popular reading material on the internet, some scouts do their research looking for reasons not to draft a player.
Even in a moment in which Cook should’ve been praised, he did something that instantly became one such story, snubbing Archie Griffin after the former Ohio State legend handed him the MVP award after the Big Ten championship last December.
One NFL agent described Cook as having Kobe Bryant’s cockiness without the skills to match. Skipping the Senior Bowl and acting as if he had already earned the right to be a highly-selected quarterback during the pre-draft process rubbed many NFL people the wrong way.
“Have you ever met someone who looks you up and down just to dismiss you? That’s Cook,” the agent said.
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Mark Dantonio took to Twitter to share his thoughts on The News' story.
Dantonio's first hashtag references Cook's record as a starter at Michigan State. His second one sums up his fondness for the media coverage of Cook's perceived character issues.