Dalvin Cook
Dalvin Cook says he’s the best running back in the NFL and wants a contract extension. Will the Vikings fork over a hefty price tag to keep Cook? (Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports)

Who is the best running back in the NFL? There are a lot of good options. If you ask Dalvin Cook, he would pick himself. Look, that’s obvious that every player is going to pick themselves. However, the way he said it was interesting for a number of different reasons. Cook is one of the most complete running backs in the game and looking for a long term contract. That’s where things start to get tricky.

“The things I do coming out of the backfield, the things I do in between the tackles, I block, I pretty much do it all,” Cook told Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press. “I don’t have to come off the field. I think some guys just don’t do as much as I do, and I think that’s why I’m today’s [top] back.”

Cook is right about one thing. He is a complete back. Runs in and outside the tackles. His pass protection is more than up to par. The Vikings screen game is basically their entire passing attack. Cook does everything for this Vikings team and they’re not the same without him or when he’s hurt.

That’s the big thing. Cook is great but he’s not available all the time. Cook has missed 17 games and played in 15 during his first 3 NFL seasons. In 14 contests last year, Cook racked up 1,654 scrimmage yards while scoring 13 touchdowns on 303 total touches. I’ll take that production even if he does get nicked up. So, is Dalvin Cook the best running back in the NFL? Is he worth paying a lucrative contract extension?