The 2011 NFL Combine is unfortunately over, but analysts, scouts, and fans are still reliving some impressive performances from exciting players. Guys like Stephen Paea from Oregon State, who bench pressed 225 pounds 49 times, are what make the combine such an exciting event for all.
Some players stand out significantly at the combine, while others fail to show up, but nonetheless, the combine is where you can make or break yourself when it comes to being drafted. With the draft coming up in April, some players will need to seriously step up at their pro days after poor showings at the combine. Despite all of this, we saw some amazing numbers put up by some outstanding young players.
Yes, Carolina, it is happening. With the first pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, the Carolina Panthers will be selecting Blaine Gabbert from the University of Missouri. Yes, Jimmy Clausen has talent, but obviously it didn't work out in Carolina for him.
Gabbert proved this past season that he can be an elite quarterback and get the job done. With new staff comes change, and that starts with a franchise quarterback, which Gabbert can be.
Nick Fairley showed he can move for a big guy at the combine, and that is just what the Broncos need to spruce up their defensive line. The Broncos struggled this past season on defense, and it starts with the defensive line.
Fairley had a great year in 2011, culminating with a national championship and now followed by a strong combine performance. Hopefully for the Broncos, Fairley will add size, strength, and ability to a lackluster line in Denver.
Ryan Fitzpatrick will be thanked for his service is Buffalo as he steps aside to let the future of its organization take over. Cam Newton is exactly what the Bills need if they finally want to win some football games.
The Bills finished near the bottom in every offensive category and the quarterback is the main reason for those statistics. Newton has shown he has the athletic ability to scare defensive coordinators and be a tough guy to stop. Buffalo, he may be the answer.
Da'Quan Bowers has electrifying talent and athletic ability for a defensive end. Bowers had a strong combine performance and he showed he can get to the ball wherever it is on the field. Although Clemson as a team didn't have a great season, Bowers absolutely did and impressed scouts all year long.
Cincinnati needs help on defense after a dismal season and Bowers can be just the guy to anchor at least one side of its defense. Hopefully he's the start of a strong draft for the Bengals.
Almost every mock draft has this guy as the pick for the Arizona Cardinals. Von Miller will be a Cardinal in 2011, mark my words. Miller is an impressive player largely because he played as an undersized defensive end in college. Now, in no way did this hurt his performance, as he had a stellar season.
The Cardinals have made it clear they want help on defense and think Miller is the perfect guy to fit in their scheme and help them win games. Good luck in Phoenix.
A.J. Green is without a doubt the best wide receiver in this year's draft, and he proved why at the combine. Green is a standout player and will catch any ball thrown his way. Cleveland likes Colt McCoy after he surprisingly stepped in after injury and played well.
Green could be the perfect guy to help McCoy on offense by giving him a big target with sure hands.
If Blaine Gabbert is off the board here, the 49ers will take the best defensive back in the draft. Patrick Peterson is a ball-hungry defensive back that can also come up and make much-needed tackles. Peterson can also add that X factor as a dangerous return man.
The 49ers need a quarterback but aren't going to take just anyone, and if the guy they want is gone, Peterson is a great player that can step in immediately and spice up the defensive side of the ball.
Marcell Dareus is a big guy that makes plays. With 6.5 sacks in 2009 and 4.5 this past season he will look to help anchor that line and help the Titans with their anything but special defense currently.
Dareus had a good combine but not an exceptional one, meaning the Titans should have no problem expecting him to be on the board here at pick No. 8. If by some chance he is gone, the Titans still will want a defensive lineman after this past season.
The Cowboys got lit up last season by second-string and even third-string quarterbacks, and that's largely because of the poor play by their secondary. Jason Garrett must know that he needs to win for Jerry Jones to let him keep his job, and defense is where it starts.
Amukamara has shown that he will get the ball wherever it is thrown. His size and speed make him an ideal fit for the Cowboys defense.
Donovan McNabb is out in Washington and Mike Shanahan will need someone new and fresh. Despite Locker not being overly successful in college, he has an NFL style of play and mentality. Give him a season or two for an NFL learning stage and he will be a strong player the Redskins will love.
His combine performance didn't hurt or exceptionally increase his draft stock, but it was important for him to show he is better than the winning column represents.