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Though unexpected, Cook happy to be a Titan

Jared Cook
Jared Cook

The Tennessee Titans drafted South Carolina tight end Jared Cook in the third round as part of their first trade of the 2009 NFL Draft.

The Titans Sunday swapped the New England Patriots their second-round pick in 2010 for the 25th pick in the third and 89th overall.

"I’m happy. It’s not what I expected, but I’m happy," Cook said on a conference call Sunday. "I told everybody the draft was crazy from my first interview on. I’m just so happy right now."

Titans coach Jeff Fisher said the Titans considered drafting Cook in the second round. They called once New England went on the clock with the 89th pick overall.

"These kind of guys don't come along very often with the skills that Jared has," Fisher said.

Fisher said Cook could immediately help the team.

Cook had the strongest physical performance of any tight end at the NFL Combine, running a 4.49-second 40-yard dash and turning in a 41-inch vertical jump and tops in the broad jump. All-Southeastern Conference first-team in 2008, he had 37 catches for 473 yards and three touchdowns. He started 15 of 36 games and started his career as a wide receiver.

This move could pressure Bo Scaife, the tight end who led the Titans in receptions with 58 in 2008. The Titans slapped the franchise tag on Scaife, but he has yet to sign the one-year tender of $4.46 million. Veteran Alge Crumpler, who lost the ball when hit by two Ravens linebackers in Tennessee's divisional playoff loss to Baltimore, is in the final year of his contract.

Scout Cole Proctor said he didn't know why South Carolina didn't leave the 6-5, 246-pound Cook at receiver and called him probably faster than all of the Titans' receivers except maybe Nate Washington.

"He is going to create tremendous mismatches out there in the slot and you can move him around," Proctor said.

Cook said it was disappointing he didn't get taken Saturday on the draft's first day.

"Just watching all the teams pick as my name just kept running down and running down. I was kind of disappointed, but my agent just told me God was working it out and God had a plan. The plan is a great fit for me."

Cook was the third tight end taken in this year's draft. The Detroit Lions took tight end Brandon Pettigrew from Oklahoma State with the 20th pick in the first round.

Denver selected North Carolina’s Richard Quinn with the final pick of the second round. The 6-4, 264-pound Quinn was regarded as one of the best blocking tight ends in the draft, but he had just 12 career receptions for the Tar Heels.

ESPN analyst Ron Jaworski compared Cook to former NFL tight end great Shannon Sharpe.

"Kerry Collins will love having him out there," Jaworski said while assessing Cook during ESPN's coverage of the draft.

This is the second straight year the Titans have drafted a tight end in the third round after grabbing Craig Stevens of California.

"The Titans are a great team, and I’m so happy to be close to home with the family and play for a great organization," Cook said.

Cook and cornerback Captain Munnerlyn gave up their final year of eligibility to enter the draft. Cook, 22, is 12 hours short of completing his retail degree. He plans to finish when his NFL schedule allows.

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