INDIANAPOLIS – During his interviews at the 1999 NFL Scouting Combine, UCLA quarterback Cade McNown unabashedly told teams, including the Bears, that they would be sorry if they didn’t draft him (insert joke here). A year later Tom Brady warned teams they would regret it if he weren’t drafted by them (insert new joke here).
At the Combine preceding the tackle-rich 2011 draft (Tyron Smith, Anthony Castonzo, Nate Solder) Wisconsin’s Gabe Carimi declared from his podium that he was the best tackle in the draft, which did not find a lot of traction before the Bears took him at No. 29. (Badger defensive end J.J. Watt did, however, go No. 11, suggesting that the NFL was more impressed by whom Carimi couldn’t block in practice than by whom he could).
Every year the selections of the NFL teams will tell players which of them the league regards as the “bests,” overall or by position. That doesn’t stop the requisite declarations of primacy in the meantime, some ranging over entire sections of the draft:
On how the entire defensive-line class will go down in history:
“The best I’d say. In five years from now, I’d say it beats the J.J. Watt and Marcell Dareus  class. That’s what I’ll say.” - Alabama defensive tackle A’Shawn Robinson.
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And within that class:
“I do believe I’m the best player in the draft.” - Joey Bosa, Ohio State.
Others stayed generally within their position groups:
“I’m confident I’ll be the best quarterback in the draft.” - Jared Goff, Cal.
“Just being able to operate in the pocket, being able to get the ball from under center, and just our concepts I would say is what makes me the most pro ready.” - Connor Cook, Michigan State
“I just think I’m the best.” - Laremy Tunsil, Mississippi.
“I always feel like I'm going to be the best.” - Ronnie Stanley, Notre Dame
Of course, any other answers might be the surprising ones: “I think as a player if you don’t believe that,” Bosa added, “then there’s kind of something wrong.”