The scouting dilemma for NFL teams interested in Michigan State quarterback Connor Cook is being laid out well in advance of the thick of the offseason.
NFL Media analyst Bucky Brooks wrote last week that despite Cook's impressive accomplishments at MSU, an evaluation of his intangibles could damage his draft stock, and a scout revealed his own concerns about Cook's personality, motivation and work ethic in a remark to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
"Physically, (Cook's) pretty good," the scout said. "He can make all the throws and he's got some strength to him and he can run. It's all the other stuff with him. How much does he really like ball? How much is he going to work at it? He likes being a celebrity."
Cook is the winningest QB in MSU history with a 34-4 career record and is a very intriguing talent. Yet, he isn't a team captain, which, as Brooks wrote, plays into the narrative questioning his leadership skills. A scout told CFB 24/7 last week that Cook is the most polarizing prospect in the 2016 draft and called him a third-rounder who'll be an "average starter at best."
Clearly, there are strong opinions on Cook in the NFL scouting community. The "celebrity" comment is a bit puzzling because, while Cook is well known to scouts and plenty of fans, he certainly doesn't have the national following that some other high-profile QB prospects attracted in recent years.
The more serious questions from the scout have to do with Cook's work ethic and desire. If teams have serious concerns about him in those areas, it could be a bigger strike against him than any other perceived deficiency.