INDIANAPOLIS -- In a year in which talented running backs are at every turn at the NFL Scouting Combine, and one NFL GM called it the deepest class of running backs he's ever seen in a draft class, Dalvin Cook isn't afraid to say it: He's the best among them.
"What separates me is I can do it all. I can stay on the field all three downs. I'm just a do-it-all back, and I feel like I am the best back in this class," the former Florida State star said Thursday.
Indeed, that's exactly the logic by which some consider him a better overall player than LSU's Leonard Fournette. NFL Network draft expert Mike Mayock currently ranks Cook over Fournette, as well.
There is no question Cook did more at the college level to prove himself as a receiver than Fournette did. Cook caught 79 passes in a three-year career with the Seminoles; over the same three years, Fournette caught just 41. That doesn't necessarily mean Fournette isn't a capable receiver -- LSU's offense simply didn't throw Fournette's way -- it does mean NFL scouts have more on which to base a projection that Cook can capably play in the NFL on third down.
Whether Cook is the best running back in the draft class won't be settled at the combine, nor will it be settled on draft day. It could take years for the right answer to ring clear, particularly with so many gifted rushers entering the NFL in the coming draft.
But with an NFL audience surrounding him for several days in Indianapolis, Cook is calling his shot.