NFL Combine: Big Name RBs Not Shying Away From Competition

INDIANAPOLIS– Considering the amount of money at stake, it's not uncommon to see star prospects refrain from testing during certain portions of the NFL Combine.

That won't be the case with this draft's top two running backs, to hear it from them.

Ezekiel Elliott and Derrick Henry have both faced the crush of media scrutiny by this point in the week, and on Friday afternoon they'll work out before the eyes of every NFL personnel department. Despite their lofty profile, they don't intend to leave any box unchecked.

"I'm doing it all," Henry said earlier this week.

It'd be hard to blame either back for waiting to work out, given that the results at a prospect's NFL Pro Day tend to be much more favorable. On top of that, both players seem cemented in the draft's upper echelon regardless of how they test.

But for a position that is so widely said to be de-valued, there's still so much to be gained.

"It's how the game has evolved and you've got to take it for what it's worth," Henry said. "You've got to make the teams want to draft you. So that's all upon you and how you perform."

Elliott is widely regarded at this year's top running back. He's a virtual lock to be drafted in the first round, though it's hard to predict exactly how high. The common consensus among draft analysts is that the Cowboys' fourth overall pick is too rich to spend on a running back. As Elliott himself pointed out, that might be debatable considering Todd Gurley is coming off an NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year performance as last year's No. 10 pick.

"I think the guys last year that were first-round picks like Todd Gurley, they set a standard for the younger generation coming up," he said. "I feel we're going to bring it back."

Henry easily has much more to gain than his Ohio State counterpart. The 6-3, 247-pound monster of a running back just finished winning a Heisman Trophy and a national championship, but no one can seem to agree on when he should be drafted. Talking to reporters on Wednesday, he seemed well-aware of the fact that he has plenty of doubters.

"You just got to let it fuel you," he said. "The only thing you can worry about is what you can control and that's going out there and perform and compete and doing the best you can do."

They're facing slightly different similar circumstances, but Elliott and Henry both look determined to handle things the same way. The duo used the word "compete" multiple times in both of their media sessions.[embeddedad0]

If they're going to buck the trend about the value of the running back spot, it seems like the only way to do it.

"I just kind of focus on what I can control," Elliott said. "All I can control is how I go out tomorrow and compete."

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