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NFL Combine Results: Monday & Tuesday

Before the 2010 NFL Draft, I wrote an article entitled “Year of the Defense” in which I explained the majority of the first-round picks were going to be defensive players the biggest impact players would mostly be on defense. Four first-round players from that class made the Pro Bowl last season: DT Ndamukong Suh, S Eric Berry, CB Devin McCourty and C Maurkice Pouncey. That’s three defenders.

This year, I expect there to be a similar trend. Linebacker Von Miller, cornerbacks Patrick Peterson and Prince Amukamara, defensive linemen Nick Fairley, Robert Quinn, Marcell Dareus and Da’Quan Bowers are all projected to be among the first ten picks in this year’s draft. On Monday and Tuesday, all the defensive players had the opportunity to show their skills at the NFL combine.

TOP PERFORMERS

CB Patrick Peterson, LSU
(4.34 40, 6.58 3-cone, 11.01 60-yd shuttle)
Patrick Peterson flashed enough of his already established athleticism to lock himself into a potential top 3 selection in the 2011 NFL Draft. Some will argue that his coverage skills aren’t where they need to be just yet, but every player ends up developing towards the player he will later become. Peterson also looked smooth in the positional drills with relatively smooth hips and quick feet in his back pedal.

LB Von Miller, Texas A&M
(4.53 40, 37.0” vertical, 10’6” broad jump, 6.70 3-cone, 4.06 20-yd shuttle, 11.15 60-yd shuttle)
Von Miller showed what he can do at the Senior Bowl and did it again at the combine. Every team could afford to improve their pass rush and it’s highly unlikely that Miller will slip past the first seven picks. Considering he was amongst the leaders at every drill except the bench press, teams are going to love his talent.

LB Martez Wilson, Illinois
(4.49 40, 10’4” broad jump)
Wilson is sure to grab attention with a faster 40 than Miller despite being taller and heavier. Add his versatility to either play inside or outside linebacker depending on a team’s defensive scheme and Wilson brings an interesting array of potential.

DE/OLB Dontay Moch, Nevada
(4.44 40, 42.0” vertical, 10’8” broad jump)
Moch set a record for the fastest 40-yd dash time for a defensive lineman in combine history. Rumors were already swirling as Moch allegedly ran in the 4.2s during a pre-season camp while at Nevada. Moch remains a raw prospect who will likely go from anywhere as early as the second round to third round depending upon how impressed teams were with his abilities.

DE J.J. Watt, Wisconsin
(34 reps, 37.0” vertical, 10’0” broad jump, 6.88 3-cone, 4.21 20-yd shuttle)
Watt continues his climb up draft boards by proving he simply isn’t a player known for his motor but also for his natural talent. Although he lacks that top-end straight line speed displayed in his average 40-yd dash time (4.84), his explosion and change of direction times are all undoubtedly exciting to team scouts and GMs.

CB Prince Amukamara
(4.43 40, 38.0” vertical, 10’8” broad jump)
Prince Amukamara’s elite speed has kept him ranked the No. 2 CB prospect in this class for some time now. With his performance on Tuesday, he verified those claims by showing elite speed and while there are still small lingering concerns about whether he is physical enough for the next level, there just aren’t many holes to his game.

More 2011 NFL Draft Coverage

Bowl Game React | Mock Drafts | NFL Combine | By Position Rankings | Prospects In-Depth

About The Author

Matt De Lima is the guy behind the guy behind the guy. Born and raised near Los Angeles, CA during simpler times where the Rams and Raiders both played there. Back when Eddie Murphy was funny and people still listened to Whitney Houston's music. A graduate of Virginia Tech (Go Hokies!), he's played fantasy sports for the last 10 years and began writing down his opinions in 2010. You remember that fantasy football league you were in last season, there was that one team that somehow had Aaron Rodgers, Chris Johnson, and Andre Johnson? Matt was that guy. You should listen to him. Follow his exclusive content @ OpenSports.com

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