Michigan State quarterback Connor Cook is generating plenty of buzz within scouting circles as he prepares for a big test against Oregon this week. The Spartans' signal-caller has even drawn a comparison to Patriots QB Tom Brady (from a Ducks assistant coach). I asked five NFL personnel executives to give me the best player comparison for Cook. Here are their answers.
Executive 1: Chad Pennington
"I see similarities to Pennington. He's smooth and has a good-not-great arm. He shows poise in the pocket and makes good decisions."
Executive 3: Blake Bortles
"Based on what I've seen so far, I'll go with Bortles. Talented guy with inconsistent arm strength and inconsistent decision making. They each have great size and sneaky athleticism."
Verdict: It's a mixed bag, with five different players receiving a vote.
Conclusion: Cook is one of the most intriguing players to monitor during the college season. He has a lot of tools to work with, but it's tough to find a clear-cut comparison for him at the NFL level. The executives I surveyed offered a broad range of comps. Personally, I see him as Carson Palmer without the top-shelf arm strength. He is similar to Palmer in size, athletic ability and demeanor. This week's game against Oregon will be heavily attended by NFL scouts and I'm anxious to see how Cook performs on that stage.