3. Downhill Runner
For all of the athletic gifts that Dalvin Cook undoubtedly possesses, nothing is more impressive about him than his footwork. He’s criticized for being too quick to bounce outside, but he always seems to be in full control of his body and general direction.
Cook isn’t the type of player who gets flashy and tries to do too much, but instead a decisive runner who knows how to get from Point A to Point B—no matter the requirements of the journey.
Cook can cut back across the field with the type of on-the-dime precision that teams dream of seeing from a running back. When it comes to simply finding an opening and hitting it, however, Cook is just as dangerous.
Cook keeps his body pointed in the direction he intends to go, and when he makes a move to elude a defender, his recovery time can best be described as fluid.
Paul Perkins looks the part of an intriguing player, but Cook is the more advanced runner at this stage of their respective careers. Thus, while Perkins may be something of a Tevin Coleman, it’s Cook who looks the part of Devonta Freeman.
That’s no slight on Perkins whatsoever—Coleman is crucial to Atlanta’s success, and Perkins could become the No. 1 running back—but Cook has transcendent raw ability as a runner.