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Alex Cook: From wide receiver to safety to Giants UDFA

Cook was a leader on Washington’s defense

NCAA Football: Washington at Washington State James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

Of the six undrafted free agents the University of Washington sent to the NFL this year, Alex Cook is perhaps the most intriguing. He saw time on offense, defense, and special teams throughout his five-year college career before settling into his role as a safety. He’ll face an uphill battle to find a home with the New York Giants.

By the numbers

Height: 6-foot-1
Weight: 220
Age: 23
Position: Safety
Experience: Rookie
Contract: Four-year, $2.705 million rookie deal | 2023 cap hit: $753,333

Career to date

Cook was a wide receiver during his freshman year at the University of Washington before converting to safety. He didn’t see much playing time until his junior year, when he logged 32 tackles in 11 games.

As a senior, Cook was one of the best players on last year’s 11-2 Huskies team. He had a team-high 82 tackles (3.5 for loss) and was named to the All-PAC 12 Second Team. His 56 solo tackles ranked sixth in the conference.

Pro Football Network’s prospect profile evaluates Cook as a strong tackler who knows where to position himself on the field, but notes that he has “poor ball skills” and had just one interception in his college career:

Cook possesses the size as well as the speed to play at the next level, yet he never elevated his game and presents himself as a one-dimensional, run-defending safety. He comes with a special-teams mentality, which is the only way he’ll make a Sunday roster.

2023 outlook

The Giants signed nine undrafted free agents this year, with two defensive backs including Cook. Safety will likely be one of the easier groups in which to stand out on the Giants roster, as there is uncertainty outside of Xavier McKinney.

Still, it’s very unlikely Cook earns a spot on the 53-man roster. He has the football IQ to make it in the NFL, but his athleticism and physical traits leave much to be desired. And last year’s fourth-round pick Dane Belton and veteran Jason Pinnock have likely already claimed two spots on the roster.

Cook made some standout plays at Washington, and that might help him secure a practice squad spot.