Oakland Raiders draft Connor Cook in 4th round

Posted at 12:17 PM, Apr 30, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-30 14:58:53-04
ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) -- Oakland general manager Reggie McKenzie was schooled in the draft by Ron Wolf during his long tenure in the front office in Green Bay.
Even when they had an entrenched starter like Brett Favre or Aaron Rodgers, the Packers believed in the importance of drafting quarterbacks anyway to develop as backups or chips to trade in the future.
McKenzie did just that Saturday when he traded up to select Michigan State quarterback Connor Cook with the second pick in the fourth round despite having an established starter in Derek Carr.
Cook said he was surprised to end up on a team with a young starter like Carr, thinking he might end up in Dallas instead as the heir apparent to Tony Romo. But McKenzie moved up ahead of the Cowboys for the 100th pick by trading the 114th and 154th picks to Cleveland.
The Packers have long stockpiled quarterbacks with players like Mark Brunell, Matt Hasselbeck and Aaron Brooks all starting their careers in Green Bay before becoming starters elsewhere.
Cook had been projected by many to go higher in the draft to a team looking for a potential starting quarterback but ended up being the seventh quarterback selected, going behind less heralded players like North Carolina State's Jacoby Brissett and Southern California's Cody Kessler.
"Anytime you see another quarterback drafted in front of you it hurts," Cook said. "I'm a competitor. Obviously I think I'm one of the best quarterbacks in this draft class. But things are never easy. Nothing is ever perfect. Everything I was able to accomplish at Michigan State was never easy. Going on to the NFL it's definitely going to get a little bit harder and more difficult."
Cook had a prolific college career, leading Michigan State to a 34-5 record and two Big Ten championships in three years as starter for the Spartans. Cook threw for 71 touchdown passes and 9,194 yards in his career but completed just 57.5 percent of his passes and some scouts questioned his accuracy.
Cook also faced criticisms of his leadership skills after his teammates decided not to elect him as team captain.
"I don't think you can win that many games and be that successful at a program without being a leader," Cook said. "I think all that stuff was so far from the truth. Everything will work itself out. People want to talk and say all that stuff, but they've never even sat down to talk to me or get to know me as a person."
Cook will compete with former undrafted free agent Matt McGloin as Carr's backup in Oakland. McGloin is eligible to be a free agent next year and the Raiders wanted to add another quarterback to the mix.