Connor Cook

XFL Draft Day 1 Fallout

The XFL’s two-day draft began Tuesday. In addition to certain quarterbacks being assigned to teams, several notable players went off the board in the rebooting league’s selection event.

The league divided its draft into sections. Skill-position players (and other quarterbacks) went in one portion of the draft, with offensive linemen going second and then select defenders in another section. Connor Cook was the first quarterback to go in the non-allocation portion of the draft, being selected by the Houston franchise at No. 2 overall.

Here are some recent NFL skill-position players taken:

Here are the notable offensive linemen selected in that section of the draft:

Lastly, some front-seven names of note came off in that part of this event:

For a full team-by-team breakdown, Sporting News cataloged the first parts of this event.

XFL Notes: Robinson, Cook, Aguayo, Cobb, Gray, Broyles, Boyer, Locke, Novak, Ollie

The relaunched XFL is gearing up for its first season, and they’re starting to announce more and more of their initial player pool. There are a lot of ex-NFL guys in the mix, and we’ll get to that in just a bit, but at least one notable college player is looking to jump right in. Former West Virginia safety Kenny Robinson is entering the XFL draft pool, according to Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk. Robinson was dismissed from West Virginia for academic fraud earlier this year. Florio writes that he was “considered a likely draft choice,” but hadn’t been in school long enough to be eligible for the NFL, which requires you to be three years removed from high school graduation.

That left Robinson with the options of looking for a new school to play at, or entering an alternative pro league. “Now they can see how I hold up mentally and physically,” Robinson told Andy Staples of The Athletic. “They’ll see me playing against guys who have actually been in the NFL and done it.” Robinson will be an early test case for what the XFL is hoping more players opt to do. Ever since they announced they were coming back, the XFL has attempted to position itself as a league for talented high school and college players to consider as an alternative to the NCAA. As Florio notes, Robinson will be eligible for the 2020 NFL Draft. In 12 games for the Mountaineers last year he had 77 tackles and four interceptions, earning a first-team All-Big 12 nod.

And now, onto the NFL alums:

  • In the first group of players that the league announced on Twitter, a few names jumped out. Former Michigan State and Raiders quarterback Connor Cook is on the list. Cook was drafted by Oakland in the fourth-round back in 2016, and even ended up starting a playoff game for them that year after injuries to Derek Carr and Matt McGloin. He spent 2017 as a third-stringer and was released at final cuts the following year. He was briefly with the Lions earlier this offseason, but was waived back in June.
  • Everybody’s favorite kicker Roberto Aguayo was also on the list, as were running backs David Cobb and Jonas Gray. Aguayo, of course, was infamously drafted by the Buccaneers in the second-round back in 2016. He lasted only one year as the Bucs’ kicker despite his draft status, and has become a punchline ever since. Cobb had a brief run as the Titans’ lead back in 2015, but never did anything after that. He most recently played in the AAF with the San Antonio Commanders. Gray was with the Patriots in 2014, and won Super Bowl XLIX with the team. Gray randomly had an absurd week in November of that year, rushing for 201 yards and four touchdowns. He quickly fell out of favor, and was released by New England the following year. He hasn’t even been in a training camp since 2016.
  • Earlier Tuesday, the XFL posted to Twitter their second batch of players. Among the notable names was receiver Ryan Broyles, a second-round pick of the Lions back in 2012. Broyles, a legendary Oklahoma player, showed some promise as a rookie, but injuries derailed his career after that. He last appeared in a regular season game in 2014. There were also a few interesting specialists on the list in longsnapper Nate Boyer, punter Jeff Locke, and kicker Nick Novak. Boyer spent six years in the military and served in Afghanistan and Iraq before becoming a walk-on at Texas. He spent the 2015 offseason with the Seahawks, but was ultimately released. Notably, he is the player who advised Colin Kaepernick to kneel rather than sit during the national anthem. Locke spent four seasons as the Vikings’ punter. Novak is a veteran NFL kicker who spent over a decade in the league from 2005-20017. Ronald Ollie, one of the stars of the popular Netflix show ‘Last Chance U’, is also on the list.

 

Lions Waive QB Connor Cook

The Lions’ search for a backup quarterback continues. On Monday, the club released former Michigan State QB and NFL journeyman Connor Cook, according to a team announcement. He was replaced by QB David Fales, who has also had multiple stops throughout the NFL. 

Cook, 26, entered the league as a fourth-round pick of the Raiders in 2016. he saw time in just one game as a rookie and has not taken a regular season snap since. He has, however, had practice squad/futures stints with the Panthers, Bengals, and Lions. His next deal could bring him to his fifth team in four years.

Cook was thought to have a chance at the No. 2 QB role behind starter Matthew Stafford, but his release leaves Tom Savage as the favorite. Meanwhile, Fales will look to make his case.

In related moves, the club also signed offensive lineman Luke Bowanko and released safety David Jones.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFL Reserve/Futures Contracts: 1/1/19

Here are the New Year’s Day reserve/futures contract decisions:

Cincinnati Bengals

  • K Tristan Vizcaino

Detroit Lions

Miami Dolphins

Oakland Raiders

San Francisco 49ers

NFL Workout Updates: 11/5/18

Here’s the latest from the workout circuit. All links go to Sirius XM Radio’s Adam Caplan Twitter account, unless otherwise noted.

Cleveland Browns

Cincinnati Bengals

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Oakland Raiders

Philadelphia Eagles

Bengals Drop Christian Hackenberg

Former Jets second-round pick Christian Hackenberg is out of work yet again. On Monday, the Bengals released the quarterback from the practice squad and replaced him with fellow signal-caller Connor Cook. The team also signed tight end Andrew Vollert to the ten-man unit. 

[RELATED: Bengals DE Carl Lawson Tears ACL, Done For Season]

Hackenberg, one of Mike Maccagnan‘s most regrettable draft picks, bounced between the Jets, Raiders, and Eagles this offseason. Now in his third year as a pro, he has yet to attempt a pass in the NFL.

Cook, meanwhile, might not be far from a 53-man roster opportunity. Currently, the Bengals are carrying just two QBs in Andy Dalton and Jeff Driskel. Cook represents the only QB on the practice squad and he may be the Bengals’ first choice if another arm is needed.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFL Workout Updates: 10/29/18

Here’s the latest from the workout circuit. All links to veteran NFL reporter Howard Balzer’s Twitter account, unless otherwise specified.

Buffalo Bills

Indianapolis Colts

New York Giants

Seattle Seahawks

Tennessee Titans

Washington Redskins

NFL Workout Updates: 10/12/18

Today’s workout updates, with all links going to veteran NFL reporter Howard Balzer’s Twitter account unless otherwise noted:

Chicago Bears

  • P Brock Miller (link)

Houston Texans

  • OT Dieugot Joseph (link)

Jacksonville Jaguars

  • OT Corey Robinson; RB Thomas Rawls (link)

New England Patriots

  • DE Will Clarke; QB Connor Cook; LB Kasim Edebali; WR Devin Ross; TE Shane Wimann (link)

Tennessee Titans

  • LS’s Andrew East, Taybor Pepper (link)

Overall, nothing too noteworthy. The Patriots interestingly continue to work out quarterbacks, bringing in former Raiders third-rounder Connor Cook for a tryout. New England has Bryan Hoyer firmly entrenched behind Tom Brady, but also recently worked out Landry Jones.

Meanwhile, the Titans seem set to bring in a new long snapper, as the team also worked out veteran Jon Condo today.

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 10/10/18

We’ll keep track of today’s practice squad moves here:

Arizona Cardinals

Carolina Panthers

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

Los Angeles Chargers

Miami Dolphins

Tennessee Titans

Practice Squad Updates: 10/9/18

Today’s minor moves:

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

  • Signed: LB Brandon Chubb
  • Released QB: Connor Cook

Dallas Cowboys

  • Released: RB Bo Scarbrough

Green Bay Packers

  • Signed: RB Tra Carson, WR Keon Hatcher
  • Released: RB Joel Bouagnon

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

  • Placed On PS-IR: LB Robert McCray

Los Angeles Rams

New England Patriots

  • Signed: RB Kenneth Farrow

New York Giants

San Francisco 49ers

Tennessee Titans