UPDATED: Raiders trade up to take QB Connor Cook

The Raiders moved up in the draft to take quarterback Connor Cook (Michigan State athletics)

The Raiders moved up in the draft to take quarterback Connor Cook (Michigan State athletics)

The Raiders made a surprising move Saturday, moving up in the draft to take Michigan State quarterback Connor Cook with the second pick of the fourth round.

Oakland is well set at quarterback with starter Derek Carr, but Cook provides them a potential backup of value after Cook dropped into the third day of the draft.

The Raiders swapped their fourth round pick (No. 114) and one of their fifth rounders (No. 154) with Cleveland to move up to the No. 100 overall pick. That moved them one spot ahead of the Dallas Cowboys, who were believed to be interested in Cook. 

Cook is expected to come in and compete with incumbent backup Matt McGloin for that role.

“I was pretty surprised,” Cook said on a media conference call of being selected by the Raiders. “I think Dallas was interested in me and they were trying to trade up and they couldn’t do it. And then as soon as I saw Oakland trade up, I was talking to my agent, he said they were taking a quarterback.

“Looking at it, Derek Carr is obviously a great quarterback. Go in there and learn from him, try and compete obviously.”

Cook is an experienced signal-caller who had a 34-5 overall record with the Michigan State, making him the school’s all-time winningest quarterback. The 2015 first-team All-Big Ten selection also holds school records for touchdown passes (71) and passing yards (9,194).

There were some character and leadership concerns with Cook, which may have led to his fall down the draft board after he was projected mostly as a second-round pick. That may not worry the Raiders as much considering he won’t be coming in to compete for a starting role and, in fact, will have some work to do even just to beat out McGloin, who will enter his fourth season with the Raiders.

Cook dismissed all that pre-draft talk, which included chatter that he wasn’t popular with his teammates and concern over him not being selected a captain, a rarity for a quarterback.

“I don’t think you can win that many games and be that successful at a program without being a leader,” Cook said. “I think all that stuff was just so far from the truth. Everything will work itself out. If people want to talk and say all that stuff and they’ve never even sat down and talked to me or got to know me as a person. We were successful for a reason. That’s pretty much all I’ve got to say. I’m just looking forward to this whole new journey and getting a chance to just be a part of a great organization and just go out there and compete.”

Cook is the Raiders’ second straight Michigan State selection after they took linebacker Shilique Calhoun in Friday’s third round. He was the No. 4 ranked quarterback in the draft by NFLDraftScout.com and some mock drafts even had him being looked at in the first round. Instead, he ended up as the seventh quarterback off the board, with Penn State’s Christian Hackenberg, North Carolina State’s Jacoby Brissett and USC’s Cody Kessler going ahead of him.

“I’m glad that I found a home,” Cook said. “It was a little bit of a wait, but I’m glad that the whole process is over.

Accuracy wasn’t exactly Cook’s strong suit, with a completion percentage of just 56.1 percent as a senior and just 57.5 for his career. According to ESPN, he had the fourth-worst completion percentage among Power 5 quarterbacks on passes of 10 yards or fewer.

That’s something he’ll have a chance to work on in Oakland and he’s already been in contact with quarterbacks coach Todd Downing.

“It was really laid back,” Cook said of that conversation. “He was just saying that he was looking forward to getting an opportunity to coach me, looking forward to me getting into those facilities and getting to know everyone, and just congratulating me on being a Raider.”


Jimmy Durkin

Sports writer for the Bay Area News Group, covering the Raiders.

  • Big Banana

    “Trade McGloin for a 2nd!”

    – the blog


  • There you have it.

    No trade

  • willy91137


  • Greg Mindyobizness

    ham sandwich and bag of toe nails

  • Teabag McKenz

    There is a reason them folks are writing articles and applying meaningless grades rather than working in a draft war room in any capacity.

  • SB3

    Maybe they are planning on letting McGloin get his chance somewhere in 2017.

    Who is our backup RB right now? I honestly dont know.

  • TrevJo

    If the Pats get Dixon I will lose my s***

  • The lions will cut him in the preseason.

  • EastBay Fan

    A few RBs and WRs worth looking at.

  • Greg Mindyobizness

    Also, not sure if ham sandwich will be on the new team menu, ‘Jihad’

  • Oak R8rs33.01

    And, KILLEBREW goes to Detroit…

  • Rico Stifler

    Or ther more plausible explanation: You are a competent dumbass

  • If the Pats don’t draft Ervin, Ferguson or Braverman today I will be shocked.

  • Good teams need two QB’s in camp that know the playbook and can make the throws at practice. If the QB is screwing up at practice everything falls apart and nothing gets accomplished in the short amount of time they have.
    You can plug in the back up WR, TE, RB, OT, etc if they are having a bad day but not the QB.
    CC will learn from MM and DC this year.
    I actually like this move

  • inonewordraider

    Can mcgloin b our short yardage back?

  • Tecmo Bo


  • They will battle for the job.

  • Gdog

    But can’t throw the short ball (Musgraves offense?)


  • Greg Mindyobizness

    Just reporting what I’m reading.. we do have quite a few holes to fill still but on the other hand I know we are one hit from looking at Matty McAverage leading our team

  • Teabag McKenz

    Only irrational fans believe McGloin has any trade value.

  • Oh RB.

    Ole, Helu and Taiwan lol

    We’ll draft 1 or 2 later.

  • TrevJo

    They should really kidnap Reggie throughout the 4th round and let someone else handle that pick every year.

  • MK1

    I would ASSume since we haven’t taken a RB, is because Helu was hurt last year and we plan to use him a lot this year? That’s my reasoning and i’m sticking to it. eh..

  • Good. He sucks

  • Skewlboy

    NFL: Ravens would have taken OT Laremy Tunsil at No. 6 if not for gas mask video – Schefter; fall to No. 13 cost him $7M -via ESPN http://es.pn/app

  • 24

    We always need an expensive holder

  • 1960AutumnWind

    Double hip surgery, good luck with that

  • TrevJo

    Last year we reached bigtime on Feliciano and the ballwashers all said hey great pick, it’s a need position! Now they’re happy about value 🙂

  • willy91137

    I can see it now Carr has a bad game we lose and some of you will be screaming for the backup quarterback that we just drafted

  • Rico Stifler

    Day 3 is all about potential on the field and potential future trade value in some cases.

  • Post that stuff so we dont have to go to facebull

  • TrevJo

    welp, they didn’t

  • I get taking a QB project, many of us mentioned it as an option for a late round pick.
    There are still guys who can play ST’s at the very least at this stage in the draft. I don’t understand not only taking him here, but also trading up for him?
    IN a perfect world Connor Cook never takes an NFL snap for us.

  • Gdog

    The Roos will be jumping off bridges if Reggie’s over-all grade by the experts in bad.

    Or more likely they will suddenly pretend they don’t care about “experts” after beating their chest about them for the past year…

  • Oak R8rs33.01

    Agreed. I’m not happy.

  • Hopefully that means Carr has finally convinced Musky to let him chuck it deep. Dog I hope so!

  • Morilla_00

    No, that’s Condo

  • Steve

    Talent will out.

  • AutumnThunderstorm

    And that’s in the exhibition season.

  • 1960AutumnWind


  • There are more picks today.

  • I would love to see this list of day 3 draft picks who were traded for, sometime before the season started.
    I challenge you to find one name.

  • Gdog

    Carr does throw a nice deep ball…

  • Kylo-Kenchun24

    LMFAO…oh puhleeze.

  • idahoraiderfan33

    Nah Willy, everybody knows Carr is the franchise.. Cook is the back up for the next 4 years..

  • R8der4evr

    Projected 2nd rounder
    In Reggie We Build

  • Big Banana

    Stepdad wins? What an effed up situation

  • Sir Raider Duck, OMS

    They’re not “letting” McGloin do anything next year. He’ll be a UFA and can do what he wants.

  • 1960AutumnWind

    So the vaunted Raven scouting staff got caught flat footed. Quite an admission

  • willy91137