Menu

College Sports

Vikings bolster secondary with Cook

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (AP) — The Minnesota Vikings secondary is anchored by one of the shortest cornerbacks in the business — 5-foot-9 veteran Antoine Winfield.

With their first pick in the 2010 NFL Draft, the Vikings added some size to help cover the likes of Calvin Johnson and Greg Jennings in the NFC North. Minnesota took 6-foot-2 Chris Cook out of Virginia with the 34th overall pick on Friday night, the second overall pick in the second round.

Cook led the Cavaliers with four interceptions last year, including one he returned 58 yards for a touchdown.

He will help bolster a secondary that was banged up last year. Cornerback Cedric Griffin tore the ACL in his left knee in the NFC title game in January and may not be back to 100 percent by the start of the season. Winfield also missed six games with a foot injury and will turn 33 in June.

The pick does not come without concern.

Cook missed most of his freshman in 2005 because of a broken leg and was not even enrolled in school in 2008 because of academic issues. He also only managed to do seven reps of 225 pounds on the bench press at the NFL Combine in February, the second-lowest total among defensive backs.

The Vikings used nearly all of their allotted seven minutes to make the pick, perhaps entertaining possibilities to trade down in the draft again. In the end, they stayed with the pick and bypassed Notre Dame quarterback Jimmy Clausen for the second day in a row to add Cook two days after signing veteran Lito Sheppard to a one-year deal.

Minnesota traded the 30th overall pick late Thursday night to Detroit, moving out of the first round in a deal that also allowed them to move up 28 spots in the fourth round and add a seventh-round pick.

Vice president of player personnel Rick Spielman said the Vikings tried to make a move up in the first round on Thursday night, possibly targeting Boise State cornerback Kyle Wilson, who went one pick ahead of them to the New York Jets.

Instead, they went into the final two days of the draft armed with nine draft picks, giving them plenty of assets to add depth at several positions of need, including linebacker, defensive tackle and offensive line.

One position that does not appear to be a priority early in the draft is finding a quarterback of the future. Brett Favre has yet to tell the Vikings if he will return for a 20th NFL season and second in Minnesota.

Even if he does, as many expect, he will turn 41 in October. Despite Favre's reputation as the NFL's ultimate iron man, he is not the long-term answer at quarterback for the Vikings.

The Vikings also have veterans Tarvaris Jackson and Sage Rosenfels on the roster, but neither has asserted himself as the heir apparent to Favre, whenever he does decide to walk away.

The Vikings could have drafted Clausen, the highly touted Irish quarterback who tumbled down the board, at No. 30. He was there again at No. 34, but the Vikings passed on him and Texas quarterback Colt McCoy.