Cobb out to prove his versatility

There are bigger names in the NFL draft at a deep running back position, but Minnesota’s David Cobb is looking to show there aren’t many that are more well-rounded.

Todd Gurley and Melvin Gordon carry the headlines for the running back class, but Minnesota’s David Cobb might be the best all-around running back hardly anyone is talking about.

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Like Gordon, Cobb is proud of his Big 10 running back crew. Unlike Gordon and Gurley, who were given podium interviews at the NFL Scouting Combine with plenty of cameras on them, Cobb conducted his media interview with less than a dozen reporters around a table.

Still, there was little hint of him feeling slighted.

“I wouldn’t say (I’m) overshadowed because there were great performances week in and week out in the Big 10,” Cobb said. “(I wouldn’t say) overshadowed because those guys deserved as much exposure as they got. It definitely was great to see that competition. You can’t relax. You can’t take a week off because you have four or three other guys in the Big 10 just as good as you are or better, so it definitely was a great feeling to compete every week and actually get a chance to play those guys.”

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Gurley is the one recovering from knee surgery and portraying a quiet confidence that he will be back for the regular season. Gordon is the one that has taken Gurley’s spot at the top of Scout.com’s running back rankings with no injury hanging over him.

Meanwhile, there is Cobb, humbly honored by being there and perhaps not realizing the value he holds.

“My goal is what it’s been since I was little – to play in the NFL. So first or seventh (round), it doesn’t really matter to me,” he said. “Everyone wants to go first round, but the reality is it’s not going to happen. Whenever my name is called, I’ll be ready to come.”

He is currently considered a second-day pick, meaning second or third round.

Cobb made the most of his Senior Bowl week, taking that opportunity to show what he could do in front of college all-star competition. What he showed is that he has a little of everything. He can generate the tough yards, handling the pass-protection assignments and catch the ball.

“I’m the ultimate competitor and when I get a chance to go out there against those other guys, bigger names, I have the biggest chip in the world on my shoulder,” he said of being at the Senior Bowl. “I like to compete and I’m very confident. Just getting out there with (Ameer) Abdullah and (Jeremy) Langford and all those other guys was great.

“The biggest thing is you get (from me) what you see on film. I’m tough, reliable, honest and just the ultimate competitor really.”

There is plenty of talent at running back in the 2015 draft. Cobb is ranked ninth by Scout.com, but after Gurley and Gordon, the beauty of the backs is in the eye of the beholder of the next general manager selecting.

Cobb refuted the notion that it’s a bad year to be a running back in the draft with such a deep class. He’s proud to be part of a stacked class and ready to compete when the running backs get on the field of Lucas Oil Stadium this weekend for positional and speed drills.

“I think the biggest thing about me is I’m a three-down back and kind of physical. Not a power back. Not a speed back. Just kind of balanced and kind of can do it all,” he said. “I just pride myself on being confident and not being tackled by one person.”

Coming out of high school, he had offers from Stanford and Minnesota, but chose the Gophers because “they run the ball” and Stanford was undergoing a coaching change at the time, just like they are once again.

Some schools wanted him as a safety, but it appears he made the right choice. He had seven games with more than 100 yards rushing in 2014, including four with more than 180 yards.

“A lot of people compare me to (Houston Texans running back) Arian Foster. A lot of guys with more power,” he said, but, “I just like to think of myself as a mix and whatever you need I can try to get it done for you.”

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