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Redskins vs Rams Week 2 Player Spotlight: Jared Cook

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With all the focus on Aaron Donald and Tavon Austin, the Redskins can't sleep on the Rams weapon at TE.

Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Jared Cook

Tight End

Age: 28

Height: 6'5"

Weight: 254 lbs.

College: South Carolina

NFL Draft: 2009 - Round: 3 - Pick: 89

Form

Jared Cook was an absolute monster last week and basically did whatever he wanted against the Seattle Seahawks.  He was targeted six times and caught five of them for 85 yards.  He primarily worked the seams and sidelines.  Though a trait typically not seen in TEs, Cook showed off his impressive ability to stretch the field.  He has big play ability and it appears that new Ram QB Nick Foles will be looking for him a lot.  He's incredibly hard to defend because he's so big/strong but also very fast.  I see no reason why he wouldn't continue to be Foles' favorite target, especially considering the Rams lackluster WR corps.  Though he has a history of disappearing for games at a time, he was plenty visible last week.  I expect he'll continue to be featured in the Rams offensive attack.

Skills

First-and-foremost, Cook is a receiver.  He led the Rams in receiving last year with 634 yards, which is incredibly impressive for anyone, but especially a TE.  Still, he's more than just a receiving threat like Jordan Reed.  Cook excels in pass protection as well and is aided by his massive 6'5", 254-lb. frame.  That frame helps a lot in another particular area of the field... the red-zone.  Cook has 16 TD receptions over the course of his career (92 games).  He runs very well (has been clocked in the 40 at sub 4.5) and has prototypical size for the position.  He has all the skills of a Pro Bowl-caliber TE.  It's obvious that Jeff Fisher likes Cook's skills and thinks he has Pro Bowl potential as he coached him in Tennessee and then brought him to St. Louis and promptly gave him a nice five-year contract.  He has a very exciting skill set, especially/primarily as a receiver and he's definitely the best one the Rams have.  Even Shannon Sharpe has publicly stated that Cook has "big-time ability" and has the chance to be a "very explosive receiver."  He's been developing since he came into the league in 2009 and based on what we saw last year and last week, I'd say his time has come.  When thinking of Cook's skills, just keep two things in mind: speed down the seam and size in the red-zone.  The seam and the red-zone are his bread and butter.

Potential Against the Redskins

Read the line I wrote at the end of the "Skills" section.  The Redskins have been notorious for getting burned by TEs... especially down the seam.  Of course, most of that came during our time with Jim Haslett at DC.  Hopefully things are improved under Joe Barry, but we still start Keenan Robinson and Perry Riley at ILB.  Obviously, they, along with Dashon Goldson and Trenton Robinson, are going to have their hands full with Cook.  He's a guy that Foles clearly loves and targets with great frequency.  We'll need our defensive front to apply a lot of pressure on Foles so Cook doesn't have the time necessary to get up to speed and really stretch the field down the seam.  He's known for getting yards and TDs more than a lot of receptions.  That tells you that the routes that Cook excels the most on require time for him to use his speed to gash defenses for big chunks of yardage.

The other area of real concern is the red-zone.  I'm not sure how you match-up with the guy.  He's 6'5" and has a 41" vertical.  Hopefully you watched the video at the top of this article.  That's Dr. J-type hops.  Oh, and he's 254 lbs.  It just really feels like he can do anything he wants in the red-zone.  I think the Redskins may have to double-team him in that area of the field while also remaining aware of Tavon Austin on reverses and even runs out of the backfield.  I expect Dashon Goldson to be the one to primarily cover Cook.  He probably has the best chance out of anyone on our roster.

Interesting Facts

Cook was one of the five Rams players who made the "Hands Up, Don't Shoot" gesture before a game against the Raiders last year to show solidarity with the social justice community in response to the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.  Cook spends most of his time during the offseason between Nashville and Suwanee, GA.  He went to HS in GA and while there played WR and FS.  He was rated as the 24th best player in GA and the 40th best WR in the nation.  He also played basketball and his AAU basketball team won a national championship.  He majored in retail at South Carolina.  His nickname is "Cookie."  You can check out his Twitter account here: @JaredCook89.

One-on-One with Jared Cook (September 15th, 2015)

Jared Cook Press Conference - 9/11

Nick Foles to Jared Cook for 30 Yards (Week 1 vs Seattle)