NFL Scouting Combine 2011: Top Performers and Guys Who Cant Wait for Pro Day
The NFL Combine is the place where college football's top stars go to display their raw abilities.
This is the time of year when general managers and coaches sit down in the war rooms and figure out who is going to be the steal of this year's draft, and who they are going to avoid.
It has been argued—even by me—that it is an overrated event.
But, if teams are going to invest their time and energy in evaluating the players at this venue, we must go over the winners and the guys that are going to need their pro day to improve their stock.
The following players did everything they could to boost their draft status through their performances at the combine.
Rankings are amongst defensive backs.
40-yard dash: 4.34 (second)
Vertical Jump: 38.0 (fifth)
Broad Jump: 10'6'' (sixth)
3-cone drill: 6.58 (fourth)
20-yard shuttle: 4.07 (ninth)
60-yard shuttle: 11.01 (fourth)
The former LSU standout had himself a great combine. He solidified himself as one of the top picks in the draft, and showed both quickness and speed, which he will need at the next level.
Rankings amongst wide receivers and running backs.
40-yard dash: 4.39 (fifth)
Vertical Jump: 38.5 (ninth)
Broad Jump: 11'1'' (first)
3-cone drill: 6.66 (ninth)
60-yard shuttle: 11.07 (fifth)
At Alabama, Jones was a deep threat and a physically gifted receiver. He proved at the combine that he is going to be a good addition to any team he joins. It is the general consensus that he was a first-round pick, but now, some are calling for him to be in the top 10.
Rankings amongst defensive linemen and linebackers.
40-yard dash: 4.44 (first)
Vertical Jump: 42.0 (first)
Broad Jump: 10'8'' (first)
Moch might be this year's workout warrior. He showed his incredible speed and athleticism and while he still needs to improve on his football skills, he proved that he has potential to be a scary defensive end.
Rankings amongst quarterbacks.
40-yard dash: 4.51 (first)
Vertical Jump: 37.5 (secondt)
Broad Jump: 10'6'' (tied for first)
3-cone drill: 6.78 (second)
20-yard shuttle: 4.09 (second)
Taylor showed that if nothing else, he is an incredible athlete. He is a hard worker and may get his shot in the NFL at WR. He wowed at the combine and should get a good look from coaches throughout the draft process.
Rankings amongst offensive linemen.
40-yard dash: 4.93 (first)
Vertical Jump: 30.5 (eighth)
Broad Jump: 9'2'' (third)
3-cone drill: 7.22 (first)
20-yard shuttle: 4.14 (first)
The Cincinnati lineman showed his speed and quickness, but some still worry about his size and strength. There is no doubting that he is a great athlete, and a guy to keep an eye on.
Guys That Can't Wait for Pro Day
These players either didn't do as well as they'd hoped at the combine, or felt they would more effectively boost their draft status on Pro Day.
Newton was somewhat impressive with his speed, but when it came to the passing drills, he was underwhelming. Everyone can see the physical specimen but there are many questions as to his lofty ego and comparisons to JaMarcus Russell or Vince Young.
He needs to do well at his pro day in order to show scouts one last time that he is worthy a top pick.
Gabbert decided not to throw at the combine and wait until his Pro Day. Good strategy? We will have to wait and see. He took some heat for only working out, where he did fine.
Gabbert is one of the wild cards in this year's QB class, because he has not had the same kind of national media exposure that some of the other quarterbacks have had. His Pro Day is important to gauge his passing abilities. He put all his eggs into one basket, and he hopes it pays off.
The same problems that Mallett had in college were displayed during his workouts. His accuracy is suspect, to say the least, and unless he wows at his Pro Day, his stock will continue to fall.
There is a QB theme in this section because so far, nobody seems to want to take the reigns as the number one QB.
Jake Locker is still probably kicking himself for not leaving last year. What makes Locker good was well documented before the combine (speed, athleticism). But it still looks like he will be selected in the later rounds because of his inconsistencies.
He has one more chance to really make his mark at the Pro Day, where it is really make or break for the young gunslinger.
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