TALLAHASSEE — Running back Dalvin Cook played only one season at Florida State with current Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston, but the idea of a reunion if Tampa Bay were to draft him with the No. 19 pick in next month's draft is, much like Cook, an exciting prospect.
"Longtime brother. Great bond. Jameis is a player I look up to as a role model," Cook said Tuesday after finishing his pro day in front of NFL scouts and coaches at Florida State. "To be in the backfield again would be something special. I feel like we started to build a bond when he was at Florida State, so it would be something special."
Winston simply called Cook "the best running back in college football" last season, and FSU coach Jimbo Fisher said that as excited as Winston was to add free agent receiver DeSean Jackson this month, he'd like one more weapon for his offense in the draft.
"I think he's wanting a back," Fisher said after the pro day. "It would be great. I know they'd love to play with Dalvin, but at the same time, they've got to get what they've got to get. He was happy they got another receiver to take the top off the defense. … It's good to have (Cook) here locally so a lot of our fans can see him play in pro football. That doesn't happen a lot."
The problem is, Cook may not be there when the Bucs pick at 19, and Winston isn't the only former teammate lobbying to get him. Among the guests at FSU's pro day was former Seminoles cornerback Jalen Ramsey, who is entering his second year with the Jaguars and was shouting "4 at 4" on Tuesday, a reference to Cook's FSU jersey number and Jacksonville having the No. 4 pick in the draft.
FSU's pro day coincided with the NFL's annual meetings in Arizona, which general manager Jason Licht and coach Dirk Koetter attended, but the Bucs had director of player personnel John Spytek in Tallahassee as well as national scout Byron Kiefer.
Entering the day, the expectation was that Cook would let his 4.49 time in the 40-yard dash at the NFL combine stand rather than run again at the Seminoles' practice facility and risk hurting himself with a slower time.
But Cook did run, and didn't hurt himself, reportedly running unofficial times of 4.40 and 4.47 seconds, taking his shirt off for the second run as NFL scouts looked on.
"I left everything on the field. That's the most important part, to give it everything you've got in your body," Cook said after running through position drills as well. "No matter what I ran at the combine, I was going to run again. I never said I wasn't going to run."
Contact Greg Auman at firstname.lastname@example.org and (813) 310-2690. Follow @gregauman.