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Chiefs Draft Bryan Cook: Initial Reactions

What are your thoughts on the Chiefs drafting Bryan Cook?

With pick 62 in the NFL Draft, the Kansas City Chiefs select Safety Bryan Cook out of Cincinnati. Cook was selected 2021 First-Team All-ACC and finished 7th among all FBS safeties in passer rating allowed.

In 46 career games, Cook logged 214 tackles, 11.5 tackles for loss, 23 pass breakups, and seven interceptions. NFL.com lists Bryan Cook as an eventual plus starter.

“Cook plays with the confidence and consistency of a pro safety and loves to run and hit. His blend of football intelligence, athleticism, and physicality makes him an ideal fit for matchup-oriented defenses looking for versatile back-end chameleons.”

Lance Zierlein, NFL.com Analyst

At 6’1″, 206 pounds, Cook gives the Chiefs a bigger-bodied defensive back to pair with smaller, more agile cornerbacks in first-round pick Trent McDuffie and Rashad Fenton. This size, paired with his ability to deliver punishing hits over the middle, makes Cook an excellent addition to a Chiefs defense that lost Tyrann Mathieu and Daniel Sorensen this offseason.

Bryan Cook Gives The Chiefs Strength Over The Heart of Their Defense

With cover safeties over the top in Juan Thornhill and Justin Reid, Bryan Cook gives the Chiefs a hybrid safety-linebacker option over the heart of their defense. Make no mistake, however: as a former cornerback, Cook can cover and play the ball against the slot as well. Cook shines most on his ability to disrupt the run game of opposing offenses. He can play close to the line of scrimmage, stop the run, and make plays in the offensive backfield.

Bryan Cook is an excellent tackler in space, which will suit him well in the former Daniel Sorensen role, a role that the Chiefs saw miss many tackles in recent years. Cook compares very well to former Falcons safety Keanu Neal.

What Will Be Bryan Cook’s Fit In The Chiefs’ Rebuilt Defense?

Justin Reid and Juan Thornhill will get the two-high safety looks in Steve Spagnuolo’s defense. Second-rounder Bryan Cook and free-agent addition Deon Bush will split time filling the role formerly filled by Daniel Sorensen. With Juan Thornhill set to reach free agency following the 2022 season, Bryan Cook will make his case to fill the Chiefs’ starting strong safety position beginning in 2023.

The Chiefs value versatility and playmaking ability in the defensive secondary. In Cook, they have drafted both. Look for Bryan Cook to come along slowly. Much like Nick Bolton last year, early snap counts will likely be low for Cook in 2022. However, don’t be surprised if he makes headlines with the snaps he does earn.

With the additions of Justin Reid, Deon Bush, Trent McDuffie, and now Bryan Cook, the Chiefs’ defensive secondary looks to be one of the deepest secondaries in the entire NFL.


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