NFL Combine Results 2011: Quarterback, Running Back and Wide Receiver Recap

Chris MaierCorrespondent IFebruary 28, 2011

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - FEBRUARY 27:  Cam Newton passes the ball during a drill at the 2011 NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 27, 2011 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

NFL Draft101 is providing a Scouting Combine Live Chat (11 a.m. - 2 p.m. daily) but we will also recap the day's biggest stories in as well.  Here is the buzz from the quarterback, running back and wide receiver workouts:

Like the Academy Awards, today was a star-studded affair as all of the top rated players besides Blaine Gabbert opted to go through a complete workout.  Cameron Newton was the NFL Network's player of choice as his mere presence near a drill drew the cameras away from players partaking in the workouts.  He was especially impressive at tying his shoes and downing a sports drink. 

The workout itself was a mixed bag for Newton. In the physical test he performed well, ranking among the leaders in the 40-yard dash, vertical and broad jump.  As a passer, it was an erratic performance.  His arm strength is excellent as witnessed by the constant overthrows on the deep balls.  His accuracy on the short to intermediate passes showed he still has a ways to go in his adjustment to three and five step drops.  Nowhere was this more apparent than on out patterns where he was both high and outside.

The day's breakout performance was put up by Julio Jones who was a physical marvel in the physical tests.  He broad jumped an astounding 11'3", finished third in the 40-yard dash with a 4.39 and ranked in the top ten in the vertical.  He was fluid in the drills, showing nice burst out of his cuts.  The only negative on the day was an occasional body catch. 

On the flipside, top rated AJ Green had an uneven performance, featuring some drops in the drills while running a solid mid 4.5 in the 40-yard dash. He did rank among the leaders in the broad jump and bench press.  Despite the occasional drops he showed his natural receiving talent and do not expect the performance to affect his draft stock.   Not a terrible day but not a great one either.

At running back, Mark Ingram stood out for his willingness to compete despite being the consensus top running back.  Ran a 4.62-second 40-yard dash but showed great burst out of the gate with one of fastest times in the first 10 yards.  Showed good balance and intensity in the drills.  Not a standout day but a solid performance.

With the big names out of the way here is a look at the other winners and losers from today's workouts. 

Quarterback:

Winners:

Jake Locker - Locker was tremendous in the physical tests (every bit as impressive as Cam Newton albeit with less fanfare) and excelled in the passing drills showing a strong arm, crisp accuracy and good technique.

Ryan Mallett - After a rough day on the interview front on Saturday, Mallett put up a stellar performance on the field on Sunday.  Looked effortless throwing the football showing tremendous arm strength and accuracy.  

Christian Ponder - While he does not possess Locker or Mallett's arm strength, Ponder answered questions about his health and arm strength with a strong performance in the passing drills.  Looked comfortable in his drops showing good accuracy and timing throughout the workout.  

Jeff Van Camp - Not a big name, but Van Camp caught my eye with some good deep balls and displayed nice touch on his passes.


Losers:

Colin Kaepernick - After performing well in the physical tests including a 4.53 forty, Kaepernick had an erratic performance in the passing drills.  Has a strong arm but remains a work in progress in his drops and needs to be more consistent with his release.

Ricky Stanzi - Looks the part but is extremely inconsistent as a passer. A different quarterback throwing to his right side vs. the left side.


Wide Receiver Quick Hits:

Winners:
Randall Cobb - Mr. Versatility ran faster than expected 4.46 and looked fluid in the receiving drills showing explosion out of his breaks and natural hands.

Jonathan Baldwin - Baldwin measured in at 6'4 and put up an excellent performance in the physical tests with a 42" vertical (1st), 10'9" broad jump (4th) and ran a 4.50 forty (great for his size).  Had some ups and down in the drills but it is his tools that tantalize.

Ricardo Lockette - Lockette tied for the fastest 40 (4.37) with Edmund Gates and followed it up with a fluid performance in the drills.

Cecil Shorts - Was nothing special in the physical tests but showed natural receiving ability in the drills highlighted by fluid route running and consistently catching the ball away from his body.

Tori Gurley - A big, possession receiver who even played a little tight end this past season, Gurley kept his forty in the 4.6 range while showing good route running ability and natural hands.

Losers:

Vincent Brown - A personal favorite among this year's receiver class, one could not help but be disappointed with 4.66/4.69 forty times for a guy under 6' tall.

Leonard Hankerson - Ran well going sub 4.5 in the forty but  Hankerson flashed his inconsistent hands in the drills.  Dropped four balls during a single gauntlet performance.

Titus Young - Young Did not run quite as fast as expected and followed it up by a pedestrian performance in the drills.  He appeared to be jogging through his gauntlet drill. 

Joe Morgan - The Walsh speedster struggled catching the football throughout the workout. 

Running Back

Winners:

Dion Lewis - Lewis showed tremendous balance, lateral agility and acceleration throughout the drills. Can cut on a dime at full-speed.  Stood out in a crowded field of undersized backs.

Jordan Todman - After weighing in at a surprising 203 pounds, Todman still managed to standout in the physical tests (4.40 forty, 10'6" broad jump, 38" vertical).  In the drills he showed good balance, agility and burst.  The only negative was a so-so performance as a receiver.

Ryan Williams - Looking to bounceback from an injury plagued season, Williams stood out in the vertical (40") and broad jump (10'3").  More importantly, he flashed his explosiveness in the drills displaying good balance, change of direction and surprisingly good hands.

Da'Rel Scott - The surprise winner of the day's fastest forty (4.34), Scott followed it up showing good balance and agility in the drills.

Derrick Locke - One of the many undersized running backs in Indy, Locke ranked among the leaders in the forty (4.40), vertical (37.5") and broad jump (9'10").  In the drills he displayed excellent burst, change of direction and bands.  He was also a standout in the receiving drills.

Losers:

John Clay - It was a rough day for Clay as his forty was in the 4.8 range but even more concerning was his poor balance and sluggishness in the drills.

Jacquizz Rodgers - His forty time in the mid-4.6's is a big concern for an undersized back. Did perform well in the drills though.

Noel Devine - Chose not to workout and can only hope it was due to an injury because the combine would have been an excellent forum for the diminutive but speedy back to showcase his playmaking ability.  Sitting out allowed his competition to shine.

Shane Vereen - In a crowded field of undersized backs, Vereen looked a little tight in the hips and lacked explosiveness in the drills when compared to his competition.

NFLDraft101 staff members Doug Lancy, Dan Wernery and Fran Duffy contributed to this report.

Chris Maier is Senior Editor for NFLDraft101.com.  He can be reached at cmaier@nfldraft101.com.  Follow me on Twitter: nfldraft101

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