The Tennessee Titans moved up in the third round of the 2009 NFL draft to select former University of South Carolina tight end Jared Cook.
However, since then Cook has not always made the most of the opportunities that the coaching staff has given him.
Cook finished the 2011 season with 49 receptions for 759 yards and three touchdowns, and by the end of the year, he had played himself into a role as a major playmaker in the Tennessee offense.
Looking at the stats, it would appear that Cook is more than your average tight end, but the majority of those catches came during the latter part of the season. The coaching staff has added more receiving threats to the offense, but needs Cook to put up those type of numbers from start of season to finish. Early in the year, there were games where he was not a major cog in the offense.
On Saturday, Tennessee made added a new prospect into the tight end fold by selecting Taylor Thompson out of Southern Methodist. Thompson played defensive end in college, but the Titans scouts love his potential to eventually be a difference-maker as a receiving tight end. This pickup could help to pressure Cook to be more consistent.
If you look around the league, teams such as the New Orleans Saints, and the New England Patriots are getting more production out of their own prospects closer to Cook's size and speed in Jimmy Graham and Rob Gronkowski.
Cook is in the last year of his rookie contract, and if he wants that big pay day must step up earlier in the season to prove he can be a consistent playmaker on this offense.
Cook has the potential to become an Antonio Gates-type of game changer, but needs to contribute early and often to prove to the coaching staff that he is worth the cost of keeping around after the 2012 season.