Commonly in the NFL Draft, the most hype is placed on the where the quarterbacks or other offensive skill players will be selected.
However, heading into the 2011 NFL Draft, a handful of defensive players may garner the most attention.
Before the draft, these players will have one last chance to prove their skills at the NFL Combine, which starts Thursday, February 24th and lasts until Tuesday, March 1st.
As the famous saying goes, "The best offense is a good defense."
This year, we may see the first round dominated by the nation's stand-out defensive players, and here are 10 players whose stock can be affected by the upcoming combine.
Brandon Harris enters the NFL Combine as the No. 3 ranked cornerback in the draft.
He may not be as fast as some of the top corners, but he makes up for it with his instincts and physicality.
He is projected to be an effective run stopper, as well as a strong pass defender.
He is described as being very coachable, which will only help him as he improves at the next level.
A strong combine may propel Harris to the middle of the first round.
Robert Quinn's speed is blazing for a defensive lineman. In the spring of 2010, he set the UNC record with a 4.38 in the 40-yard dash.
His style of play is similar to Terrell Suggs of the Baltimore Ravens or Clay Matthews of the Green Bay Packers. They all can rush the passer well and can also drop back into linebacker coverage.
This new hybrid style of defensive end is really catching on in the NFL, so expect Quinn to continue that trend.
What's not to like, right?
Well, Quinn was suspended for the entire 2010 season for accepting improper benefits. Some analysts think he may be a year behind the curve and may slip in the draft.
A strong combine for Quinn would remind scouts just how talented he is on the field.
Last week, ESPN's Todd McShay picked Marcell Dareus to be a fit for the Cleveland Browns at the No. 6 spot in the draft.
The 309-pounder ranks second at defensive tackle behind Nick Fairley.
Though durability has been a concern, Dareus is said to be completely disruptive along the defensive line when healthy.
A strong combine may cause teams to overlook his injury history and take a chance.
He can play the 3-4 or 4-3 defense, which also makes him a good match for Cleveland.
J.J. Watt has the size and speed to line up inside or outside along the defensive line.
He is notorious for knocking tight ends off their routes before he rushes the quarterback.
His quickness and strength also add to his versatility.
His strongest attribute is probably his work ethic, which he will be able to show off fully during the combine.
Watt would be a steal for a team in the mid-to-late first round, but his stock may rise significantly at the combine.
Akeem Ayers has a sixth sense for knowing where the ball is on each play.
Though he is sometimes guilty of over-pursuit, he still has the ability to use his speed to recover.
He emerged as the leader of UCLA's defense and will look to improve upon those leadership skills at the next level.
He is projected to go in the middle of the first round, but a strong showing at the combine may move him up.
Many scouts believe he hasn't yet reached the peak of his football potential, which is a scary thought considering the havoc he already creates on the field.
Von Miller benefited from his switch from defensive end to outside linebacker in Texas A&M's 3-4 defense.
Miller recorded 10.5 sacks and now ranks as one of the top linebackers in this year's draft.
He battled injuries early in the fall season, so he will use the combine to prove to teams that he is fully healthy and ready for action.
The Buffalo Bills or San Francisco 49ers may use their top pick on Miller.
Prince Amukamara had a breakout season in 2009 and hasn't looked back since.
He is a physical corner that combines his size and speed to make plays.
He was actually a running back at one point, so he uses his strong ball handling skills on the defensive side of the field.
Questions have surfaced about just how fast he is, so he will have his chance to prove his speed at the combine.
If so, he will be off the board very early in the draft.
Da'Quan Bowers is a nightmare for opposing offensive linemen.
He recorded 16 sacks last season using his speed and his great initial first step.
His 6'4", 280-pound athletic frame will fit perfectly into a team's defensive scheme.
It's been rumored that he could be off the board as high as No. 4 overall to the Cincinnati Bengals.
Patrick Peterson told the Sporting News that he wants to run a 4.2 40-yard dash at the combine.
He is already projected as a top-five pick, but that performance would wow the scouts.
He has drawn comparisons to Darelle Revis and Nnamdi Asomugha as being a true shut-down corner.
There are few things that Peterson can't do on a football field, and he'll be prepared to flash his skills at the combine.
Nick Fairley has been all over mock draft boards as the top pick heading to the Carolina Panthers.
His performance in the National Championship game propelled his status.
Some analysts have questioned his work ethic, but a strong showing at the combine should cement him at the No. 1 overall pick.
The Panthers will hope Fairley can be a staple along their defensive line for years to come.