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NFL Mock Draft 2017: Two new mock drafts have Colts taking Dalvin Cook in the first round

NCAA Football: Orange Bowl-Michigan vs Florida State Logan Bowles-USA TODAY Sports

Mock draft season is well underway, and most of the mock drafts we’ve seen so far have the Indianapolis Colts taking a pass rusher in the first round. Two analysts recently have suggested a different name, however, and it’s one that I’m sure will intrigue a number of Colts fans: Florida State running back Dalvin Cook.

Both ESPN’s Todd McShay and NFL Media’s Daniel Jeremiah both released mock drafts recently and have the Colts taking Dalvin Cook in the first round.

Here’s what Todd McShay wrote about Cook to the Colts:

Protecting and supporting Andrew Luck is priority No. 1 for the Colts, but drafting more O-linemen (they picked four last year) isn't the only way to do that. Indy can't bank on RB Frank Gore, who turns 34 in May, to continue to defy the odds. Cook, the No. 8 player on our board, is an explosive runner and a weapon in the passing game. He loves the game, too.

And here’s what Daniel Jeremiah had to say about the pick:

The Colts need an explosive running back; Cook would be a perfect fit with Andrew Luck.

In three seasons at Florida State, Cook rushed for 4,464 yards and 46 touchdowns while averaging 6.5 yards per carry. He also caught 79 passes for 935 yards and two touchdowns. In 2016, Cook was a unanimous All-American selection as he rushed for 1,765 yards while adding 488 yards receiving, finishing with 20 total touchdowns and 2,253 total yards.

Cook is highly thought of as a prospect by many, and he would figure to be a tremendous fit in the Colts offense. Indy needs to be looking for a young, dynamic running back who can be a playmaker and also fit in with the team’s style of play, which with Andrew Luck will be largely passing-based. Cook is a good back who also can help as a versatile guy out of the backfield. Frank Gore was productive in 2016, but he’s going to be 34 years old next season and the Colts have to be thinking toward the future in regard to the running back position.

McShay is right when he says that there’s more than one way to help Andrew Luck out, as it’s not just the offensive line. It can be adding a running back or adding a pass rusher or any number of areas, because the big thing is adding talent around him that makes the Colts a competitive team. Chris Ballard has emphasized the need to help Luck, but there are many ways to do that. There will be some fans who would dislike the pick of a running back like Cook in the first round because of the need for pass rushers, but a lot of that depends on who else is still available, and the running back position is without a doubt an area the Colts could stand to address.