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Spielman: Vikings 'Take a Swing' to Nab Dalvin Cook with 41st Pick

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — Once the Vikings realized running back Dalvin Cook was a possibility early in the second round, Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman got on the phone and made a move.

Minnesota moved up to the 41st overall pick to select Cook, a Florida State product who rushed for 1,765 yards on 288 attempts (6.1 yards per carry) and 19 touchdowns in 2016.

Spielman said Cook was one of the top two running backs on Minnesota's board. The Vikings moved up from pick No. 48 by sending that pick and a fourth-round pick (128th overall) to the Cincinnati Bengals.

"We started making some calls once we knew he was going to slide into the second day," Spielman said. "As we looked and he kept coming down the board, we felt that he was just too talented of a player not to take a swing and try to go up and get him.

"(We) feel that we have great value for where we were able to land Dalvin in the second round," Spielman added.

Cook holds Florida State's single-season rushing record and broke Warrick Dunn's career rushing record with the Seminoles. The two-time All-American totaled 4,464 yards and 46 touchdowns on 687 carries (6.5 yards per carry) and added 79 receptions for 935 yards in his college career.

Cook was also named to All-ACC teams in three straight seasons. He performed well at the combine, running the 40-yard dash in 4.49 seconds, and said he was more than happy to land with the Vikings.

"You have to accept things as a man, and I was just waiting my turn, and that was it," Cook said. "I was just waiting for my name to get called, and I got called to a great organization like Minnesota."

Spielman noted he had a 45-minute conversation with Cook on Friday morning to deeply discuss who he is off the field and how much passion he has for the game.

"I specifically asked him very pointed questions," Spielman said. "I knew he was sincere and honest with how he answered everything and by the background [research] and due diligence that we did."

Added Cook: "I was more eager for him just to get to know the person, and that's Dalvin Cook. And for him just to know that if he drafts me to the Minnesota Vikings, he's getting a guy that's going to represent the organization the right way and going to go to war for his teammates every game and going to help him win football games."

Spielman said he saw Cook play in person in September when Florida State defeated Mississippi. Cook showed his versatility as he rushed for 91 yards and added 101 receiving yards.

View images Vikings new RB Dalvin Cook from his days at Florida State.

Cook joins a running back room that includes Latavius Murray, whom the Vikings signed as a free agent this offseason. Jerick McKinnon returns for his fourth season in Purple and led the Vikings with 539 rushing yards in 2016.

Minnesota ranked last in the NFL with 1,205 total rushing yards in 2016.

"We're very fortunate, I think," Spielman said. "One of the areas that we definitely have to improve on is the running game, and I think with the three backs that we currently have right now, I think we're going to have some play-makers coming out of our backfield this year."

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