Following their first-round selections of Washington CB Trent McDuffie and Purdue EDGE George Karlaftis, the Kansas City Chiefs got back to work to begin their second round. After trading back from pick No. 50 to pick No. 54, general manager Brett Veach selected Western Michigan wideout Skyy Moore. With the team's second second-round pick of the night, Kansas City drafted Cincinnati safety Bryan Cook.
The Chiefs' safety position earned the majority of the non-Tyreek-Hill-related headlines this offseason, as Tyrann Mathieu hit free agency and the Chiefs opted to get younger with former Houston Texans safety Justin Reid signing a three-year, $31 million contract. The team's third safety, Daniel Sorensen, also left KC for New Orleans in free agency. Meanwhile, 2019 second-round pick Juan Thornhill earned the third-most snaps among Chiefs defenders in 2021 despite being given a part-time third-safety role during Weeks 2-5 before seeing his snap count eclipse 80% in all but one game for the remainder of the season.
The Chiefs added safety Deon Bush this offseason but entered the draft with room for another young safety to partner with Reid and Thornhill, given how often defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo (and the rest of the NFL) runs three-safety sub-packages. Now, with Cook in the fold, the position is suddenly extremely deep.
Jordan Foote of Arrowhead Report recently had Cook listed in a mock draft, saying the following about the Chiefs' new second-round addition:
Not only is Cook a willing run defender who takes good angles to the ball and is a sound tackler, but he's comfortable either in the box or up high as a complementary coverage option. With Juan Thornhill and the aforementioned Reid slated to start for the team this year, as well as free agent signing Deon Bush, there isn't a massive need for Cook right now. Thornhill's rookie contract expires after the 2022 season and Bush is on a one-year deal, though, so building for the future may not be a bad idea here. Cook allows the Chiefs to do just that, and he can serve as — at worst — their third safety for the entirety of his initial tenure with the team in this scenario if given the chance to do so.
The NFL Draft Bible on Sports Illustrated recently broke down Cook's game as well, describing him as a player who should improve once he hits the ground running in the NFL.
Cook has a great story and likely has his best ball ahead of him, but is a very raw product right now. He lacks the athleticism and instincts to play free safety or the physicality to play in the box - boundary safety in a two high system seems to be his best bet. Cook should be seen as a developmental prospect as he enters the NFL and has the potential to grow into a solid backup role.
Cook is regarded as far from an elite athlete, and he didn't have a chance to prove the general consensus wrong throughout the pre-draft process. Per Kent Lee Plate, the founder of Relative Athletic Score, Cook didn't qualify for a score due to a lack of measurements and testing data.