3. Bryan Cook, S, Illinois
Devoid of an enforcer since Jamal Adams’ infamous departure, the Jets entered the offseason with a need to add physicality to their secondary. The Jordan Whitehead addition will help there, but they still have room for improvement.
Overshadowed by Ahmad Gardner on the Cincinnati Bearcat defense, Bryan Cook carved out his niche and was a high-level contributor for one of the top units in college football.
Cook’s tape is easy to love. In coverage, he has the versatility to line up away from the line of scrimmage and in the slot. In addition, his eyes and instincts allow him to read the quarterback and disrupt passing lanes.
But while Cook is capable in coverage, his skillset shines most in the box. He has the necessary size (6-foot-1, 206 pounds) to hang in the box and seeks out contact as a tackler.
His skill set might seem redundant with Whitehead in the fold, but his talent is worth bypassing redundancy on paper. Cook should be a target for the Jets if they address the safety position in the back end of Day 2.