49ers.com runs down the list of top players in the 2016 NFL Draft. We continue our "Meet the Prospect" series with a signal-caller boasting plenty of big-game experience, Michigan State's Connor Cook.
Cook was a three-year starter for the Spartans, finishing his career in East Lansing as the winningest quarterback in school history with 34 victories. He went 21-2 in Big Ten regular season games and 2-0 in the Big Ten Championship, earning game MVP on both occasions. Cook also owns the school record for most touchdown passes (71) and passing yards (9,194) in a career.
As a senior in 2015, Cook led Michigan State to the College Football Playoffs and took home Big Ten Quarterback of the Year and Johnny Unitas Golden Arm honors.
Most scouts view Cook as the No. 4 quarterback prospect in this draft class, behind Jared Goff, Carson Wentz and Paxton Lynch. Look for him to be selected late in the first round or early-to-mid second round.
Arm length: 33 inches
Hand Size: 9 3/4 inches
NFL.com Pro Comparison
Free-agent quarterback Brian Hoyer
Best College Game
In the final game of his junior season, Cook led Michigan State to an upset victory over Stanford, 24-20. The win gave the Spartans their first Rose Bowl title in 26 years. Cook passed for a then-career-high 332 yards and two touchdowns, including a tiebreaking 25-yard strike in the fourth quarter. The quarterback took home the game's Offensive MVP award for his efforts.
40-yard dash: 4.79 seconds
Bench press: N/A
Vertical jump: 33.0 inches
Broad jump: 113.0 inches
3 cone drill: 7.21 seconds
20-yard shuttle: N/A
Mock Draft Connections
ESPN's Todd McShay – No. 31 overall pick (Denver Broncos)
CBS Sports's Dane Brugler – No. 31 overall pick (Broncos)
ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. – No. 51 overall pick (New York Jets)
What the Media is Saying…
"Pocket passer with plus-arm talent and experience in one of the more NFL-ready programs in the country that instills discipline and accountability. Cook operated a pro-style offense there, with heavy on-the-line responsibility to set the protections, make checks at the line and go through a complete progression. He's viewed as a confident, battle-tested thrower with upside, but Cook also had some head-scratching moments where his mechanics escaped him and his accuracy waned." – Yahoo's Eric Edholm
"Cook isn't without flaw, but he shows a number of reasons to be encouraged about his potential in the NFL. Cook has the physical traits ideally suited for the pro game with tape that shows off a number of NFL throws." – Brugler
As a high school senior, Cook was just a three-star recruit. He had only received scholarship offers from Miami (Ohio) and Akron before Michigan State saw him at practice while recruiting another player. The other two quarterbacks the Spartans offered that year were Braxton Miller and Cardale Jones, both of whom are also likely to be drafted in the early-to-mid rounds. Cook's mother told Yahoo! Sports about the moment Michigan State extended the scholarship to her son. "I was gone a minute," Chris Cook said. "Sixty seconds. I come into the room and Connor is sitting there with this look of amazement on his face." Read the whole story here.
Cook played with Garrett Celek for one season and Marcus Rush for four seasons at Michigan State.