Dalvin Cook's passion for the game is evident when he takes the field on Sundays.
The running back spoke to media members last week and expressed excitement for being at Verizon Vikings Training Camp with his teammates.
"I love football; I love being around the guys," Cook said. "It's like a stress reliever for me, just being on the field, being around the guys, being in the locker room."
As the Vikings prepare for the 2020 season in the wake of an offseason altered drastically by the COVID-19 pandemic, Cook is readying for his fourth campaign in Purple. There's no denying that he's among the league's top running backs – but where exactly does he rank?
Analytics site Pro Football Focus recently listed its top 25 running backs and ranked Cook seventh overall. PFF's Ben Linsey said he slated Cook a little lower because of the injuries he's navigated over his first three seasons. While durability is listed as a concern for Linsey, he wrote that Cook's "abilities on the field are another thing entirely."
The tackle-breaking show that he put on display at Florida State has certainly translated to the NFL. Cook'sforced missed tackle rateof 22.4 [percent] ranks fourth among 28 running backs with 500 or more touches over the past three seasons, and he has been an ideal fit in Minnesota's outside-zone scheme, showing rare ability to maintain speed in and out of his cuts. It's a big reason why his83.5 rushing gradeduring the regular season in 2019 was a top-three mark at the position. The biggest thing left to do is stay healthy and highlight that ability in a full season of action.
Ranked ahead of Cook by Linsey were, from 1-6, Christian McCaffrey (Panthers), Nick Chubb (Browns), Alvin Kamara (Saints), Saquon Barkley (Giants), Aaron Jones (Packers) and Ezekiel Elliott (Cowboys).
Randall McDaniel joining 'Change Starts with Me' event Thursday
Vikings fans who help make a difference in the Twin Cities community this week will also have the opportunity to meet Hall of Fame guard Randall McDaniel.
McDaniel, who helped anchor Minnesota's offensive line from 1988-99, is participating in Thursday's "Change Starts with Me" donation drive.
The grassroots organization was founded in the wake of George Floyd's tragic death on Memorial Day while in police custody. It has hosted a number of donation and distribution drives since May, including one with the help of Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph, defensive end Danielle Hunter and several of their teammates.
Thursday's event will take place at the Cub Foods Blaine North location (12595 Central Ave NE) from 3-7 p.m. (CT).
McDaniel will be on-site greeting guests, accepting donations and signing autographs for the first 200 individuals who donate – while abiding by social-distance guidelines.
Vikings 'triplets' fall middle-of-the-pack by NFL.com
Each summer, NFL.com ranks all 32 teams according to their offensive triplets, meaning the team's QB-RB-pass-catcher trio.
NFL.com's Ali Bhanpari said that while this particular ranking "might feel a bit antiquated and unscientific, it can provide a decent snapshot of an offense's capability."
Bhanpari tabbed Minnesota's offensive trio of Kirk Cousins, Cook and Adam Thielen just about middle-of-the-pack, tying for 15th in the league with Philadelphia's Carson Wentz, Miles Sanders and Zach Ertz. He wrote:
Cook makes everything look so effortless, whether he's sprinting past defensive ends on an outside zone or taking a dump-off in the flat for 40. While durability is a legitimate concern, I'm conveniently overlooking the what-ifs here and focusing my attention on his immense value. He's the motor that powers the Vikings ship. He's also largely responsible for Cousins' career year last season. As I recently wrote in our 30 over 30 file, Cousins is a really good quarterback who'd instantly improve half the league's QB1 situations. But in those less-than-ideal conditions, would he still be a top-10 passer? That's what I'm not so sure about. Hampered by hamstring issues, Thielen caught just 30 balls for 418 yards and six TDs over 10 games. With Stefon Diggs gone, can Thielen carry Minnesota's receiving corps?