The 2011 Scouting Combine concluded March 1, as 330 prospects were
poked, prodded, measured and most of them timed by NFL teams in a
weeklong job interview.
The vast majority of players in Indianapolis turned out to be, with all
apologies to former NFL coach Dennis Green, "who we thought they would
Many top 10 prospects, including CB Prince Amukamara (Nebraska), DT
Marcell Dareus (Alabama), DT Nick Fairley (Auburn), OLB Von Miller
(Texas A&M), CB Patrick Peterson (LSU) all proved themselves elite
athletes through their timed runs and work in position drills, while
marginal prospects looked, well, marginal.
Some people will add some of the above players to lists of players who
helped themselves in Indy, and others will put North Carolina DE/OLB
Robert Quinn and Georgia WR A.J. Green to their list of prospects
hurting themselves with their performances. But scouts will review game
film on those players and it's doubtful their place on draft boards will
A few players did manage to help or hurt their draft stock during the
Combine. As has been the case, similarly-valued players at a position
can switch places based on the athleticism they showed in Indy.
The following 20 players either pushed ahead of other prospects with
like production, or fell behind other players on draft boards by losing
|Risers and Fallers - Chad Reuter -- (Updated 3/1/2011)|
|1.||Marvin Austin||DT||North Carolina||The|
former Tar Heel is trying to overcome concerns about his 2010
suspension, which was set down by Butch Davis before the NCAA made the
call, and his inconsistent production as a junior. His play at the
East-West Shrine Game, as well as his 4.9 40, 38 reps of 225 pounds and
hustle in drills Feb. 28 at the Combine could allow him to sneak into
the top 40 to a team willing to take a chance on his talent.
|2.||Jordan Cameron||TE||Southern California||Cameron|
can thank New Orleans' Jimmy Graham for getting the strongest push with
his workout despite the strong performances of fellow tight ends Virgil
Green (Nevada) and Rob Housler (Florida Atlantic). All three ran in the
high 4.5s or low 4.6s and lifted well for their 6-4, 250-pound frames.
But scouts will remember the success former Miami (Fla.) basketball and
football star Graham had with the Saints and see Cameron's two-sport
ability with the Trojans.
fact Jones was among the most athletic players on the Combine field did
not surprise anyone. But his sub-4.4 40s, Combine-leading
11-foot-3-inch broad jump, and excellent 38 1/2-inch vertical were made
more impressive considering he performed well despite a fractured foot.
Teams might continue to have Green as the No. 1 receiver on their board
when they study the film, but Jones certainly closed any gap -- and
might have changed some minds.
a weak safety class, teams were very interested in seeing Moore's
athleticism. His mid-4.5 40 time, as well as the range and ball skills
he showed in drills, might overcome any questions scouts have about his
physicality to push him into the top 40 picks.
|5.||Christian Ponder||QB||Florida State||The|
medical exam results from Indianapolis -- and likely follow-ups there
in the months ahead -- will be crucial to Ponder's stock. However, he
was the most accurate and polished passer in throwing sessions Saturday,
and showed good athleticism when running. Measuring 6-2 with 10
1/4-inch hands also helped his cause.
(pronounced "screen") joined fellow SoCon corner Cortez Allen (4.4 40s
at 6-1, 197) in impressing scouts by running in the 4.3s and adding
extremely quick feet in drills to some good tape. Allen (East-West
Shrine) and Skrine (NFLPA Game) looked solid at all-star games last
|7.||Tyron Smith||OT||Southern California||Even|
though Smith did not run because of postseason surgery on a meniscus,
the fact he weighed in at 307 pounds, measured 36 1/4-inch arms and
bench-pressed 225 pounds 29 times gave him a bounce heading into his pro
day on March 30. Honorable mention here goes to Boston College tackle
Anthony Castonzo, who displayed excellent movement and put up 28 reps to
address questions about his strength.
|8.||Jordan Todman||RB||Connecticut||Todman's 4.4 40 at 5-10, 203, helped separate him from other talented but small backs who struggled to break 4.6.|
host of defensive ends put up great numbers in Indy, including Ryan
Kerrigan (Purdue) and Cameron Jordan (California). But at 6-5 3/8, 290
pounds, Watt ran in the mid-4.8s, put up 34 reps and joined Jordan with
the biggest hands among defensive linemen (11 1/8 inches). All three DEs
should be top 20 picks when combining their exceptional tape with the
knew Wilson had elite closing speed from watching his 2010 game film --
but sub-4.5 40s at 6-4, 250, highlighted that point. Now only concerns
about his 2009 neck injury would potentially keep him out of the top 40
selections as either a 3-4 inside or outside linebacker.
missing the 2009 season due to injury, Reed has continued to improve
his draft stock. He looked strong as a pass rusher at the Senior Bowl,
then ran sub-4.7 40s at 263 pounds and looked very fluid in position
drills furthering the idea he will move to linebacker at the next level.
He's a second-round pick waiting to happen.
6-4 3/8, 228, a 4.5 40 is not bad -- unless you've been telling people
you plan to run in the 4.3's. His performance in position drills was
less than inspiring, as well, with poor footwork on most routes and
inconsistent hands. Given scouts concerns about work ethic and attitude,
Baldwin needed to hit a home run at the Combine to be considered a
first-round lock; his performance in Indianapolis, more of a ground-rule
double, didn't get that done.
needed to be fast if teams were to take a chance on his playmaking
ability in the top 75; being small (5-9 1/4, 186) and slow (4.7 40s) is
not a good combination. But his fall won't be as great as teams expect,
as smart teams will go back to game tape to re-discover his toughness,
ball skills and instincts.
|3.||Kendric Burney||CB||North Carolina||Small|
cornerbacks -- Burney measured at 5-9, 186 -- can't afford to be slow
(he ran 4.7 40s) if they want to be top 100 selections. Burney showed
ball skills in drills, but even teams running zone schemes rely on their
corners to have recovery speed and run with corners when they have deep
exceptional Combine could have made scouts forget the junior Gator's
off-field issues and the fact he didn't start regularly until 2010. He
did not separate himself from the crowd in a sparse mid-round safety
group, running in the 4.6's and looking stiff and slow in drills, making
scouts wonder if they are better off waiting to sign him after the
players don't lose ground on draft boards by putting up poor numbers,
but others at the position just make cases to jump them. Kendricks was
very average (4.75 40) in comparison to Cameron, Green and Housler, and
may end up a fourth-round pick instead of a late third-rounder like
former teammate Travis Beckum (Giants). He's still likely to be a good
receiving tight end at the next level.
second Badger who failed to take a step forward, Moffitt's 5.55 40,
slow agility numbers and relatively weak 23 reps (Colorado CB Jimmy
Smith did 24) might make him an unlikely target in the top half of the
who liked Newton coming into the Combine still like him, and those who
don't believe he can transition to the NFL smoothly will continue to
believe that as they left Indianapolis. It would be difficult not to
list him as a faller, however, because of his uncomfortable footwork in
dropping back and inaccurate throws at the Scouting Combine. He did not
impress most teams who interviewed him during the week. It's still
likely, however, that a team will take him very early in the draft
because he's just scratching the surface of his amazing potential.
offensive tackle class is quite crowded in the first two rounds of the
draft, so Pinkston's poor measurements (under 6-3 1/2), times (5.47 40),
and footwork in workouts might force him to the end of the line -- and
into the third round.
linebacker Akeem Ayers could be listed here with his 4.8 40s, but his
work in position drills was good and he can make up ground on his pro
day. Beal, however, will find it difficult to overcome running 5.0-plus
40s after not looking explosive at the Senior Bowl. Teams looking for
hard workers outside, like the Patriots and Steelers, could still value
his hustle and production on film--but finding a spot in the top 100
just got a lot tougher.