From Feb. 23 to 26, thousands of gifted prospects will be competing in a rigorous four-day trial that is the NFL Scouting Combine.
Over the course of the weekend, there will be a constant circuit of events, including the 40-yard dash, three-cone shuttle, bench press, broad jump, vertical jump and the fairly new receiving gauntlet.
For 32 NFL teams, it is the primary event leading into April’s draft before they decide whom they want to select.
Each year, the makeup of the draft class is altered and unique in its own way. At this time last year there was a great deal of offensive talent being thrust into the league. There were quarterbacks, receivers and running backs lining virtually every round.
The Washington Redskins were able to revamp their offense at its core by adding Robert Griffin III (Round 1) and Alfred Morris (Round 6). The Colts were able to find Andrew Luck, Coby Fleener, T.Y. Hilton and Vick Ballard helpful as rookies.
In terms of identity, this year’s draft class could not stray further from the one preceding it. 2013's class is heavy on the defensive side of the ball, and particularly thick in the trenches.
The San Francisco 49ers could emerge as big winners in this year’s draft, but there are a few things they would like to see play out first. Continue through the following slides for a breakdown of what the Niners hope to learn at the 2013 combine.