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Jared Cook emerging as St. Louis Rams receiving threat

In three seasons with Sam Bradford as their starting quarterback, the St. Louis Rams haven't had a player top 700 receiving yards.

If the incessant reports out of Rams training camp are to be believed, tight end Jared Cook is the favorite to put that streak to an end this season. According to the Rams' official website, Cook already has emerged as a "walking mismatch" and Bradford's favorite target.

Peter King of wrote Friday that Cook was the "single-best player" he saw on his camp tour this summer.

"What a catch radius," King added. "How he caught only 44 balls last year in Tennessee I'll never know."

Therein lies the rub. Are we still awaiting Cook's breakout season because former Titans coordinator Chris Palmer lacked imagination and creativity? Or is it because there's something missing in Cook's game?

Rams coach Jeff Fisher obviously believes it's the former. Familiar with Cook's talents from their two seasons together in Nashville, Tenn., Fisher threw a stack of money at the versatile seam stretcher in free agency.

It will be interesting to see how Rams offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer uses a 6-foot-5, 250-pound weapon who was clocked below 4.4 seconds in the 40-yard dash at South Carolina. Cook is a freakishly athletic, long-striding, catch-first tight end with the straight-line speed to beat linebackers and safeties vertically.

The question is if Cook has the footwork, route-running savvy and diligence to come through consistently as Bradford's go-to receiver in key situations.

To date, he's been the quintessential practice player.

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