Tag:2011 Combine
Posted on: March 1, 2011 10:40 am
Edited on: March 1, 2011 10:42 am

Amukamara puts to rest issues with his speed

Posted by Will Brinson

Prince Amukamara, CBSSports.com's second-highest rated cornerback and 10th-overall prospect, was the unquestioned star of the early defensive backs who ran the 40, posting an impressive (albeit unofficial) pair of times on Tuesday at the combine. On Amukamara's first run, he ran the 40 in 4.37 seconds, and in the second attempt, 4.44.

The biggest knock on Amukamara was his speed -- that probably shouldn't be a problem anymore.

As Chad Reuter notes, there are "still concerns about his recovery speed" but "in the right system" Amukamara will be a star.

Currently, Rob Rang has Amukamara being drafted by Dallas at ninth overall, while Reuter sees him going 11th to the Houston Texans.

If he continues to perform like he did this morning, there's a decent chance he won't even last that long -- someone like San Francisco could certainly make a play before he falls to the Texas teams.

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Posted on: February 28, 2011 11:45 pm
Edited on: March 1, 2011 12:07 am

Source: Bowers, Jones dropping on draft boards

Posted by Andy Benoit

INDIANAPOLIS -- A prominent NFL front office executive told CBSSports.com Tuesday night that two first-round prospects saw their stock drop drastically thanks to medical issues that were discovered at the combine.

One of the players is Alabama wide receiver Julio Jones, who was reported to have a participated in the combine with a fracture in his foot. The other is Clemson defensive end Da’Quan Bowers, who didn't participate in combine drills despite claiming to be "100 percent" after knee surgery.

[Related: Latest CBSSports.com Mock Drafts]

The source did not say what the injuries were, though presumably he was referring to Jones' broken foot and Bowers' torn meniscus.

When I pointed out that the media was trumpeting Jones' remarkable workout numbers, the source said that's what makes the inevitable fallout from this injury so difficult. He said this news was devastating for both players.

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Posted on: February 28, 2011 9:55 pm

Could five QBs wind up in the first round?

Posted by Rob Rang

We all know the value of quarterbacks raises as the draft gets closer. We also all know that significantly altering a player's grade based on Combine performance is a quick way to get a scouting staff fired.

That said, there is an increasing belief among NFL teams that as many as five quarterbacks could wind up in the first round, following strong performances from Ryan Mallett, Jake Locker and Christian Ponder at the Combine.

[Related: CBSSports.com's 2011 QB Prospect Rankings]

Mallett unquestionably has first round skills. While his struggles at the podium in front of the media has been well documented, league sources tell our own Len Pasquarelli of The Sports XChange that teams who interviewed him in Indianapolis "came away impressed with him."

Locker, too, has unquestionable talent. His career-long struggles with inaccuracy remain a concern for many, but there was no denying he enjoyed a strong throwing session at the combine, throwing some of his most accurate passes on the deep outs, fly routes and post-corners that are generally considered the toughest throws scouts ask quarterbacks to make at the Combine. Some teams will take this as evidence that he's made strides under former pro quarterback Ken O'Brien -- and is likely to continue to do so under NFL coaching.

Perhaps the most surprising quarterback generating recent first round buzz is Ponder. His multiple arm surgeries make his medical grade the most important result from the Combine (and teams won't have these complete results for awhile), but there is no question that the former Seminole is building momentum following a Senior Bowl MVP performance and a strong showing during passing drills. Considering his intelligence, mobility and accuracy to the short to intermediate levels of the field, Ponder is viewed by some as the top true West Coast Offense quarterback in the draft.

In last week's mock draft I had only two quarterbacks (Missouri's Blaine Gabbert and Auburn's Cam Newton) projected in the first round. With virtually every one of the front office executives and head coaches acknowleding during their combine interviews the supreme value of the quarterback position and another two months for the hype around these three to build, we could end up seeing that number more than double by April 28.

This entry was cross-posted from Rob Rang's NFL Draft Blog. For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.
Posted on: February 28, 2011 7:43 pm
Edited on: February 28, 2011 8:08 pm

Cam Newton 'struggled' in some team interviews

Posted by Rob Rang

Cam Newton's struggles in the throwing session at the Combine Sunday have already been well documented. His strategy of reading a prepared statement and refusing to acknowledge the extent of the "mistakes" he made earlier in his career while at Florida has been hotly contested.

Even more of a concern, however, is that the reigning Heisman winner is also struggling answering football questions during team interviews at the Combine.

NFLDraftScout.com has learned that at least two teams gave Newton poor grades for his "football character" following interviewing him at the Combine. Newton, according to league sources, had a difficult time drawing up plays and how to react to different defensive schemes when asked to work on the white board.

There is no denying Newton's potential, but his success in spread option offense much simpler than anything he'll see in the NFL continues to be his greatest challenge. Not all teams are convinced he has the ability to make the adjustment to the complex defensive schemes he'll see at the pro level.

This entry was cross-posted from Rob Rang's NFL Draft Blog. For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.
Posted on: February 28, 2011 7:31 pm

Julio Jones to have surgery on foot fracture

Posted by Will Brinson

Julio Jones, CBSSports.com's second-ranked wide receiver, impressed a lot of people with his blazing speed at the combine. Well, it just got even better: he did what he did with a fracture in his foot.

That's according to Charley Casserly, who reports that Jones went through the entire combine with a fracture in his foot and will now surgery, which will require a screw to be inserted in his foot and which will result an eight-week recovery.

Casserly said he expects Jones to be ready for the start of the season and therefore shouldn't fall too much in the draft.

In fact, there's also a good argument that Jones' value should go up after his impressive performance with such a tough injury.

It had previously been reported that the Rams would "sprint to the podium" if Jones was sitting there when they were on the clock with the 14th overall pick -- the likelihood of that happening should be pretty heavily impacted by how he recovers from his surgery.

Rob Rang has him going to the Rams at 14, while Chad Reuter's spots Jones to the Redskins at 11th overall; considering just how much his stock is rising, the former might not even be an option once the draft rolls around.

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Posted on: February 28, 2011 5:25 pm

Ear on Football: Weekend combine winners/losers

Posted by Will Brinson

Don't call it a comeback, kid -- after a (much-needed) podcasting break, Andy and I return with a rebranded podcast ("Ear on Football," although I somehow botch the name at the beginning, because, well, it's Monday) and a fresh take on the combine's weekend action.

Who were the winners? Who were the losers? Does the combine actually matter? Are Carolina Panthers fans talking themselves into taking Cam Newton No. 1 overall? And what's the deal with airplane peanuts?

Okay, we don't actually answer that last question, but hit the play button to find out about the rest and don't forget to Subscribe via iTunes.

If you can't view the podcast, click here to download .
Posted on: February 28, 2011 4:23 pm
Edited on: February 28, 2011 7:18 pm

NFL combine scene: Monday

Posted by Andy Benoit

Want more combine action? Check out our podcast breakdown of the weekend, and don't forget to Subscribe via iTunes.

INDIANAPOLIS -- If ever there was confirmation to the idea that the combine has very little to do with the actual workouts, the Monday morning atmosphere in Indy would be it. Defensive players are still going through drills, but virtually all of the media has gone home. Credentials aren’t even issued past Sunday. Player interviews (with the media) are over. Many offensive coaches have left town, as well. And while most coaches are observing the workouts live, it’s not uncommon to see a head coach walking around a hotel lobby during the workouts. You’d think the talent evaluators were watching every precise detail of the events on the field; that’s not the case.

I’m still in town meeting with as many coaches and front office execs as possible. Many of the meetings are previously scheduled, though plenty of times I’ve found myself walking up to someone out of the blue and saying hello. That’s what I did with Jack Del Rio and John Elway as they were heading to Lucas Oil Stadium this morning. This approach can be a hit (Del Rio) or a miss (Elway). It’s nothing personal, just a timing thing.

It’s best to approach these guys near their hotel; the closer they get to the stadium, the more autograph hounds they encounter. The autograph hounds are interesting. A lot of them have stacks of blank white photo papers, which would indicate that the photo part of many autographed photos is actually printed after the signature is acquired. Asking someone for an autograph is a lot like carrying around a superhero-themed lunchbox: it’s great if you’re a little kid and painfully pathetic if you’re a grown man. Sadly, there have been plenty of painfully pathetic grown men running around the Lucas Oil Stadium area these past few days.

Fun as it is to drop a head coach’s name, the best conversations are with assistants and scouts. Most of them aren’t technically allowed to talk to you, though. (That could just be a convenient way to decline a conversation, too.) But plenty of them talk anyway. The primary value of it all is simply laying the groundwork for a future relationship. The secondary value is learning about the game and league from these experts firsthand.

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Posted on: February 28, 2011 12:46 pm

Moch blazes to a 4.44 in the 40

Dontay Moch ran a 4.44 40 at the combine (US Presswire). Posted by Eye on Football staff

INDIANAPOLIS -- Dontay Moch put up an awfully impressive 40-yard number this morning. The Nevada product blazed to a 4.44 time, the best time produced among DEs ever (or, at least, since 2000).

Moch, who ranks as the eight-best DE in the CBSSports.com rankings (and No. 86 overall), apparently ran a sub 4.3 during his junior Pro Day, and with speed like that (and considering he’s completely undersized for a prototypical 4-3 DE), he’s most likely to be used as a 3-4 outside LB.

The 2009 WAC defensive player of the year obviously is speedy, but he also is considered to have stiff hips and can’t change directions very well.

Writes Chad Reuter on CBSSports.com, “although Moch's quickness is undeniable when watching his tape, scouts wonder about his motor, pass-rush moves and ability in coverage as a stand-up 3-4 linebacker. A team might reach for him in the second round, but it is not unreasonable to believe he could still be available in the fourth.”

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