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3 Reasons Dalvin Cook Can Make an Instant Impact

The Vikings didn't have a first-round pick in last week's draft, but they still secured first-round talent with the selection of Dalvin Cook in the second round. Expectations are likely to be high for Cook, even in his rookie season, as the Vikings look to improve on offense in 2017. The good news is Cook has the ability to fulfill those expectations.

Here are three reasons you can expect Cook to make an instant impact for the Vikings in 2017.

1. A big play waiting to happen

Regardless of his standing on the depth chart and the number of touches he earns, Cook can make an impact at any time because he can score from anywhere on the field. In three years at Florida State, Cook tallied 22 scores of 20 yards, 16 of 30 yards and 11 of 40 . That is the kind of home run-hitting production the Vikings offense lacked in 2016, particularly in the running game.

Stat: Cook averaged 7.0 yards per offensive touch at Florida State.

2. Poised for a fast start

The Vikings are set to have a full and talented backfield in 2017. Jerick McKinnon returns, Cook was drafted and Latavius Murray was signed in free agency. But Murray underwent a procedure on his ankle and should be back for training camp, which could open up practice reps for Cook immediately. A substantial amount of first-team and second-team reps in the offseason program, including 10 organized team activities (OTAs) and the mandatory minicamp in June, could put Cook on the fast track to learning the Vikings offense and prepare him to contribute right out of the gate in September.

Note: Florida State has had a slew of talented running backs over the past 30 years, but Cook was the first to break the 1,000-yard barrier in his first season with the team.

3. Running game on the rise

Head coach Mike Zimmer has made no bones about it this offseason – he wants his offense to be able to run the ball in 2017.

"Being able to run the ball in the fourth quarter to win football games is important," Zimmer said last Saturday. "It allows your defense to play better. You can control the time of possession, you can control the flow of the game. A lot of times when you go three-and-out offensively and there's three passes, that's a quick possession. I think this adds to the way we want to play the game."

Cook can help the offense achieve Zimmer's vision. After cracking the 1,000-yard mark in his first season with the Seminoles, Cook rushed for 1,691 yards on 229 carries and 1,765 yards on 288 carries in the next two seasons, scoring 19 times on the ground in each of his final two seasons on campus.

Stat: Cook averaged 5.42 yards per carry in the 4th quarter for Florida State in 2016.

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