Case Cookus, QB, Northern Arizona Lumberjacks
Career Snapshot: Three-year starter who earned First Team FCS All-America honors and completed 60 percent of his passes for 4,114 yards and 31 touchdowns with seven interceptions as a senior in 2019. Earned First Team All-Big Sky honors as a junior in 2017 and as a freshman in 2015. Named Big Sky Co-Freshman of the Year and completed 69 percent of his passes for 3,117 yards and 37 touchdowns with five INTs in 2015. Suffered a season-ending shoulder injury after four games in 2016. Suffered a season-ending broken collarbone during the second game of the 2018 campaign.
Positives: Nice-sized quarterback with a terrific head for the position. Sells ball fakes, knows where receivers are on the field and goes through progressions. Accurate, displays timing on throws and does not make receivers wait on the ball out of breaks. Senses pressure and takes off up the field when nothing else is available. Sets up screen throws, naturally looks off the safety and consistently locates the open wideout. Shows great pocket awareness and a feel for what’s happening on the field. Throws with an over-the-top delivery.
Negatives: Does not have a bigtime arm and struggles to put speed on throws. Deep passes tend to float. Does not consistently follow through on passes and has a tendency to fall out of throws.
Analysis: Cookus was a productive, efficient quarterback at Northern Arizona, but he lacks a next-level arm. His understanding of the position and intangibles could lead him to a practice squad next fall.
Cole Habib, OT, Northern Arizona Lumberjacks
Career Snapshot:Three-year starter who earned First Team All-Big Sky honors as a senior in 2019. Named Honorable Mention All-Big Sky as a junior in 2017. Granted a sixth year of eligibility after he missed the 2018 season due to a torn ACL.
Positives: Nice-sized offensive tackle prospect who is most effective as a run blocker. Stays square, sets with a wide base and works to bend his knees. Keeps his head on a swivel, shows the ability to recover and keeps opponents in front of him. Strong at the point, blocks with leverage and turns defenders from the action. Plays with good awareness and football intelligence.
Negatives: Easily exploited by speed rushers and struggles to adjust. Displays average agility and athleticism.
Analysis: Habib is a size prospect who should be kept on a practice squad with the hopes to fill out his frame and turn him into a backup right tackle.
Jake Knipp, QB, Northern Colorado Bears
Career Snapshot: Two-year starter who completed 61 percent of his passes for 2,869 yards and 16 touchdowns with 12 interceptions as a senior in 2019. Started eight games and completed 59 percent of his passes for 1,998 yards and 13 touchdowns with 10 interceptions as a freshman in 2015. Missed most of the 2016-18 seasons due to shoulder problems. Granted a sixth year of eligibility before the 2019 campaign.
Positives: Strong-armed quarterback who effectively leads the offense. Sells ball fakes, spreads the ball around and uses all his targets. Relatively accurate, throws with an over-the-top delivery and has a high point of release. Gets outside the pocket, keeps his eyes downfield and loses nothing when he throws on the move. Puts terrific speed and velocity on intermediate passes. Knows where his receivers are on the field, quickly locates the open wideout and generally does not make poor decisions.
Negatives: Leaves the pocket a bit too early at times. Really doesn’t challenge the vertical game. Must improve his downfield vision and accuracy.
Analysis: Knipp is a strong-armed passer who’s relatively accurate and does not make receivers work hard to come away with the catch. He needs to polish his game and learn to play with more discipline in the pocket, but Knipp deserves practice-squad consideration next fall.
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