NFL Notes: Dalvin Cook, J.J. McCarthy, Michael Penix Jr.

Dalvin Cook

Free agent RB Dalvin Cook believes he can still play at a high level.

“I’ve got it all. The tools are still here. I didn’t really get no reps last year. So, the legs are fresh, so the resume speaks for itself,” he said via Aaron Wilson. “I’m still Dalvin Cook. I’m still that guy. For me, I don’t like to toot my own horn. I just like to go out there, put my helmet on and line up on the grass.” 

Cook continued on to talk about the lessons he learned from last year, signing with the Jets during the summer but finishing the year in Baltimore after seeing minimal action. 

“I think last year was really like a learning curve for me,” he told Wilson. “I got kind of itchy. At the time it was coming. the season. it was where I wanted to go and now it’s about the opportunities are going to come. It’s about what are you going to do with it. For me, patience is the key so let’s just stay ready and stay confident it’s going to explode.” 

J.J. McCarthy

Michigan QB J.J. McCarthy impressed scouts with his arm strength during his pro day and surprised some after they saw him in person versus watching his tape.

J.J.’s got more arm than I thought from what I saw on tape,” AFC coach said, via SI’s Albert Breer. “It was pretty impressive. Every ball wasn’t on the face mask, some were behind guys a little, and Caleb’s more naturally accurate. But, man, he showed off his arm. There was one where he was moving away from internal pressure, drifting left, and throwing [right] to the field—wow. The spiral is tight, the rotation is there, he drove the ball more than Caleb did.

  • ESPN’s Adam Schefter went on the Talkin’ Ball podcast with Pat Leonard and stated he believes McCarthy could go as high as the number two or three pick and as late as the 11th or 12th pick. 
  • Schefter added the eight to 12 range is the “sweet spot” for a potential trade-up as the price would likely be more reasonable.

Michael Penix Jr.

Washington QB Michael Penix Jr. is currently moving up draft boards and may be more coveted than expected.

Penix is my No. 2 guy,” an AFC offensive coach said, via SI’s Albert Breer. “I love Penix. He’s a stud, a born leader, calm and collected and in a genuine way. He’s a baller. He turns it loose, can throw it into tight windows. He stands in the pocket, lets plays develop, takes hits, throws it down the field. He’s just a winner.

Breer adds that the wide-ranging draft stock has mostly to do with what teams believe Penix is and what he can be. Some believe he is already polished as he was a sixth-year player. Others believe that some of his mechanical issues can be easily fixed with proper coaching.

Breer also said that Penix has drawn comparisons to Rams QB Matthew Stafford with the way he throws the ball.

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