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Michigan State's Connor Cook compares himself to Tom Brady

INDIANAPOLIS -- Connor Cook came to the NFL Scouting Combine this week knowing he was going to have to answer publicly and with NFL teams questions concerning his leadership abilities.

He did so on Friday with members of the media, who peppered him with queries on why he was never selected a team captain in his four years at Michigan State. He did so again in private meetings with teams.

It's probably not a coincidence, then, that after his on-field workouts and before exiting Indy on Saturday night, he firmly planted a final impression. Asked by NFL Media analyst Bucky Brooks on NFL Now what quarterback's game he would compare himself to, he brought up a comp that many might find ironic.

"I think I'd have to say Tom Brady," Cook said about the quarterback who is considered one of the greatest leaders in NFL history. "Obviously he has great stats, and he throws for a lot of yards and a lot of touchdowns, but I think my game (compares) to his because he's a winner. I go out there and try to put my team in the best situation to win each and every week, just like him. There (have) been times where ... he's made a mistake and put it behind him, goes out there, throws a touchdown and leads his team to victory. In that way, I'd say my game kind of reflects Tom Brady's, the competiveness, love for the game and his will and drive to win."

It wasn't the first time Cook has compared himself to Brady.

Brooks offered a comparison to a player he scouted while with the Carolina Panthers and Seattle Seahawks: Carson Palmer.

There's little doubt Cook dropped Brady's name in meetings with teams this week in reply to questions about his leadership. He said about half the teams he met with took on the captain subject.

"Some teams went right to the captain deal and asked that," he said. "And some teams said, 'Hey, we know you've been asked that question a thousand times and we just want to talk football. Just jump straight to it, and jump on the (play-diagramming) board.' It's a great question; a lot of people want to know why and I understand."

The big question, though, is whether his answer to the leadership queries and the Brady references will be enough to satisfy lingering doubts.

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