David Cobb wasn’t able to show scouts from 23 NFL teams at the Gophers’ pro day Monday the moves, speed and power he used to set the program single-season rushing record. The running back is recovering from a left quad injury he suffered at the NFL combine on Feb. 21.
Cobb, who ran for 1,626 yards last season and ranks seventh in school history (2,893), plans to hold an individual workout at the university during the first week of April.
“It’s starting to feel healthy again so I’ll take it slow,” he said. “I won’t push it, don’t want to tweak anything, but I’ll definitely pick it up in the next week or so.”
Cobb attended pro day anyway — the Gophers were among five schools to kick off the pro day circuit — and he was on the field encouraging his former teammates through the drills.
“I’m happy to be back with them, happy to have a little success and getting noticed,” Cobb said. “There’s some good athletes out here, and hopefully they get a chance.”
Continuing to impress
Tight end Maxx Williams was confident with his performance at the NFL combine, so he took part in just position drills at pro day.
“I felt like it was a pretty solid day and just to show what I did at the combine wasn’t a fluke,” Williams said. “I figure just come in here and get ready for position drills and show them what actual football is.”
Williams looked smooth during position drills. He has a shot to become the first Gophers player selected in the first round since running back Laurence Maroney was selected No. 21 overall by the Patriots in 2006.
“Your goal is go in the first round, but for me, I just want to be drafted,” Williams said. “That’s why I came out. I want to be a pro. As long as I hear my name called on one of those three days, I’ll be happy.”
Hoping to catch on
Gophers defensive back Cedric Thompson and defensive lineman Cameron Botticelli helped their cases with some good numbers throughout the day.
Thompson averaged around 4.4 seconds on the 40-yard dash, with one scout clocking him at 4.37 seconds during his second attempt. Thompson also had 21 reps on the bench press and a 40.5-inch vertical jump. He hopes his performance will give him the same boost former Gophers defensive back Brock Vereen, who was selected in the fourth round by the Bears last year, received during his draft process.
“Ever since I was a freshman, I always looked up to Brock,” Thompson said. “Seeing the things he does on the field, and when I saw what he did at the combine, I thought I could definitely do that.”
Botticelli said he ran the 40-yard dash in 5.07 seconds and had 24 reps on the bench press. The former walk-on knows it’ll be a long climb again to gain some attention and jump on an NFL team.
“I think I’ll find myself in the same position as possibly an undrafted free agent, being an underdog and having to earn it the hard way,” Botticelli said. “I relish that opportunity. That’s how I’ve done things my entire life.”