Rookie minicamp isn’t the be-all-end-all of determining factors regarding the type of impact a player is going to make during his NFL debut. While the competition is spirited, the rookie minicamp atmosphere lacks the intensity that naturally comes with putting on the pads and going toe-to-toe with experienced league vets.
Despite rookie camp’s limitations, let’s not rain too much on the parade of Tennessee Titan TE Jared Cook, who made a mighty fine impression on many with his spectacular grabs and consistent display of amazing athletic ability for a man of his stature.
Coach Jeff Fisher is already singing the praises of Cook and his potential to be an impact player in Nashville:
“He’s got real natural soft hands, and he adjusts very well,” Fisher said. “One can make the case that maybe he is a wide receiver after what we saw today, but he’s got a lot of work to do. He’s a very smart kid. He runs good routes and understands them well, and I think he’ll be pretty good for us.”
Don’t get me wrong: I like what Scaife brings to the table. He’s a hard-worker who has come a long way since being selected in the sixth round of the 2005 Draft. He had his best season as a pro in 2008 while emerging as a pretty reliable safety-valve for the Titan offense.
However, in terms of ability, Scaife pales in comparison to Cook. Of course, there’s always that scary thought in the back of your head that we could be witnessing Ben Troupe part II, but that fear aside, Cook has the ability to become quite a playmaker down the road.
Cook has the potential to be a matchup nightmare for opposing defensive coordinators around the league.
You don’t believe me? Just ask Dinger:
“Heimerdinger’s eventual goal with Cook is to use him in mismatch situations as his size and athletic ability should be able to terrorize opposing linebackers and safeties.”
Excuse me while a wipe the drool off of my keyboard for a second.
Of course, we should at least attempt to temper our enthusiasm regarding Jared’s talents. Let’s see what he’s capable of when he’s faced with the task of getting open against the likes of veterans Keith Bulluck and Michael Griffin before we annoint him as the second-coming of Frank Wycheck (coincidentally, Cook is also wearing #89).
Despite our efforts, it’s hard not to get excited about what Cook can bring to the table for the Titan offense. To paraphrase Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, it’s difficult to ignore the enticing smell of what Jared “The Rook” is cooking as his NFL career unfolds.