While negotiations with the San Francisco 49ers for Colin Kaepernick have floundered, the NFL draft has been steadily approaching.

The more time that passes, the more likely that the Denver Broncos will head into next season with Mark Sanchez, Trevor Siemian and whomever they manage to draft. According to a mock draft by Don Banks of Sports Illustrated, the Broncos will go for Michigan State quarterback Connor Cook.

On Thursday, Michigan State beat writer Mike Griffith of MLive.com joined Eric Goodman and Les Shapiro on the Afternoon Drive to discuss why the Broncos might want to take a good look at Cook.

“I think Connor Cook could go 15th in the first round. You’ve got a guy with prototypical NFL size who’s operated out of a pro-style system,” Griffith said. “He’s had to make reads, had to make calls, line protections, under center, shotgun. He is the most NFL-ready guy. Even his critics will tell you that.”

Those critics seem to be a big reason Cook isn’t on more people’s radar. He’s been described as hard-edged or even arrogant.

“The reason why his stock has been lowered are people questioning his leadership because he wasn’t voted one of three captains,” Griffith said. “They had 22 seniors and they only have 3 permanent captains. Connor Cook finished fourth. At 90 percent of schools, he would have been a team captain because 90 percent of schools have four or more.”

Griffith pointed out that the ultimate measure that overrides most other metrics is wins and losses.

“At the end of the day it’s winning and against really quality competition,” Griffith said. “I think there’s some pretty smart folks in the NFL that can see through the smokescreen. I’d be shocked, shocked, if he didn’t go in the first round.”

In an essay published on SI.com Connor Cook himself addressed most of the issues that critics bring up.

“Being a captain is a title, but nobody needs a title to lead. I’ve been fortunate to have played on great teams, and have proven that I’m a winner,” Cook said. “My record is 5-2 against top 10 opponents. I’ve played in a pro-style offense. I can scan the whole field. I’ve dealt with protections and know how to change protections. I can take snaps under center and do a five or seven foot drop, and I’m confident in my arm strength.”

Maybe those statements seem arrogant, but Griffith pointed out all the same abilities.

Arrogance or confidence?

Listen to the full discussion in the podcast below…

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