3 running backs the Buffalo Bills should watch closely at the NFL Combine

James Cook, Georgia Bulldogs (Syndication: Detroit Free Press)
James Cook, Georgia Bulldogs (Syndication: Detroit Free Press) /
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Buffalo Bills
Jan 10, 2022; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Georgia Bulldogs running back James Cook (4) runs the ball against Alabama Crimson Tide defensive back Kool-Aid McKinstry (1) during the third quarter of the 2022 CFP college football national championship game at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

James Cook, Georgia

Measurables: 5-11, 190lbs.

James Cook has NFL blood as he is the younger brother of Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook. James comes in with much less hype than his older brother because he never really was the lead back during his time at Georgia. During Cook’s career, Georgia often used a committee of several running backs. In 2021, five different running backs had at least 49 carries, with Cook and Zamir White with the only backs over 100 carries each.

Cook was easily the most effective of all the backs for Georgia. In his 140 touches, he had 1012 yards averaging 7.2 yards per touch. Cook also added 11 touchdowns (7 Running, 4 Receiving). Cook has a versatile skill set as both a runner and receiver out of the backfield. Cook occasionally lined up at wide receiver both inside and out and was used in motion a fair amount.

In my opinion, Cook has some of the best non-athletic traits in this running back class. His vision and patience hitting the hole are both very underrated and will easily translate to the NFL. He is an excellent athlete, showing fantastic speed with the ball in his hands. Teams will be slightly concerned with his lack of significant college production and that he is a little undersized for an in-between the tackles runner.

With an outstanding Combine, Cook could fly up draft boards. Cook is the type of player who shows great potential but has questions because he never really was a star player. Scouts and teams will be forced to really keep their eye on Cook if he performs as one of the top running backs at the combine.

Cook fits in perfectly with the Bills for a couple of reasons. First, he would essentially play the same role for Buffalo he did for Georgia as one player in a committee. Second, Cook offers proven receiving ability, which is essential in Buffalo’s offense. Lastly, Cook does not have a huge weakness with the ball in his hands, meaning he could impact the offense in many ways.