2015 Senior Bowl Grades: Running Backs

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Jan 24, 2015; Mobile, AL, USA; North squad running back David Cobb of Minnesota (37) carries against the South squad during the third quarter of the Senior Bowl at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. The North squad defeated the South squad 34-13. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

David Cobb (Minnesota) 

Senior Bowl Stats: 11 rush attempts (78 yards, one touchdown), 2 receptions (16 receiving yards)

A fellow member of the Big Ten, Minnesota’s David Cobb was a huge part of the Golden Gophers impressive season where they fell one game short of the Big Ten Conference Championship in a heartbreaking loss on the road to Wisconsin. Cobb, who rushed for 1626 yards and scored 13 touchdowns, was underrated for much of the year before the Gophers began to pull of late season upsets including a big win over the Cornhuskers in a battle with Team North teammate Ameer Abdullah.

Ending the year strong, many began to peg Cobb as a player to watch once the Senior Bowl practices began and the Gophers star did not disappoint over the week in Mobile. Cobb ended up leading the North in rushing yards with 78, getting four more carries than Abdullah, but also finding the back of the endzone in the lopsided victory where the offensive line helped the running backs run all over the South.

Cobb’s strength comes through a mix of speed and power that allows him to break off big runs or gain yardage after the first contact. Just 5’11” the 229 pound running back showed plenty of explosive plays during the year and things were no different at the Senior Bowl where his power plus speed was showcased for the scouts on hand at the event.

Leading the Senior Bowl in rushing it is hard to grade Cobb’s performance as anything other than a success, even if his draft stock may be lower than Abdullah’s based on his lack of receiving strength and the presence of non-Senior Bowl attendees ahead of him on many draft boards based on early projections. Whatever team that drafts Cobb will be getting a player who has proven himself as a feature back, willing the Gophers to an impressive season where he was the workhorse who had the second highest workload in the NCAA. Being able to handle that workload and rise to the occasion should translate to the NFL and after leading the Senior Bowl in rushing Cobb is well on his way to being one of the top running backs taken in the 2015 Draft.

Senior Bowl Grade: A

Next: Team North: Tyler Varga