MSU's Connor Cook picked No. 2 in XFL Draft

Connor Cook became Michigan State's highest-drafted quarterback since Earl Morrall on Tuesday when the Houston Roughnecks selected him with the No. 2 skill position pick in the inaugural draft of the rebooted XFL.

In the XFL's format, each of the eight teams were assigned quarterbacks and the true draft is divided into five phases: 1 is skill players (quarterbacks, wide receivers, running backs, tight ends), 2 is offensive linemen, 3 is defensive front seven, 4 is defensive backs and 5 is open draft (remaining players). Phases 1, 2, 3 and 4 are 10 rounds each while 5 lasts 30 rounds as teams finalize their 71-man rosters.

Houston's assigned quarterback is Phillip Walker, formerly of Temple and the NFL's Indianapolis Colts. The league's first overall skill position pick was wide receiver Rashard Davis, who went to the DC Defenders. Then Cook went off the board.

Cook led the Spartans to a 34-5 overall record during his three-year run as the starting quarterback. He holds MSU's records for quarterback wins (34), touchdown passes (71), passing yards (9,194), total offense (9,403) and pass attempts (1,170). He's tied for first in 300-yard passing games (10), 200-yard passing games (26) and starts (39).

The Oakland Raiders selected Cook with the 100th overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft. He appeared in two NFL games for the Raiders before being released early in the 2018 season. Cook went on to brief stints with the practice squads for the Carolina Panthers and Cincinnati Bengals. His last NFL opportunity came with the Detroit Lions, who signed him to a future/reserve contract in January and released him in June.

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Wide receiver Keith Mumphery, safety Kurtis Drummond, offensive lineman Miguel Machado, running back LJ Scott, linebacker Jon Reschke, safety Demetrious Cox and linebacker Taiwan Jones are the other Spartans in the XFL draft pool.

This second iteration of the XFL, led by WWE owner Vince McMahon, is set to launch Feb. 8-9, the weekend after the Super Bowl. The initial eight teams are the DC Defenders, Houston Roughnecks, Los Angeles Wildcats, New York Guardians, Seattle Dragons, St. Louis BattleHawks and Tampa Bay Vipers.

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