Tag:NFL combine
Posted on: February 27, 2011 8:37 pm

Ponder's performance Sunday boosts his value

Posted by Pete Prisco

INDIANAPOLIS -- Florida State's Christian Ponder is a smart, accurate passer who has the intelligence needed to be a good NFL quarterback.

The question about him was his arm. Was he recovered enough from an elbow injury that limited him in 2010? He answered that question Sunday with an impressive throwing day here at the combine.

The impressive performance, which one scout said was a big surprise, could vault Ponder to the back end of the first round.

Andy Dalton, a player I like a lot, didn't throw as well. He has to show better at his pro day at TCU. But Dalton is not the kind of kid who will throw well in an environment like the combine. Here's a bet he throws better at his pro day in March.

This entry was cross-posted from Pete Prisco's Prisco's Points blog. For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.
Posted on: February 27, 2011 6:20 pm

Fairley faces plenty of questions on 'dirty play'

Posted by Eye on Football Staff

INDIANAPOLIS -- Nick Fairley's a really nice dude off the field, but he gets plenty of questions about his "dirty" play in between the hashmarks.

We asked him about it in Dallas, and the number of inquiries into his ability to keep cool have been through the roof at the NFL combine. Fairley had a similar answer in Indy as well.

"I haven’t really met with a team yet, but I have talked to the media, and how I've addressed it is everybody's entitled to their opinion," Fairley said. "A lot of folks out there say I play the game the way it should be played. I hit a light switch when I hit the field and don’t turn it off until I leave."

Fairley also addressed the notion that he took some plays off (he wisely disagreed with that assessment) while in college.

There's no real way that he can dispel those two issues in the next two months, short of simply convincing various front office guys for NFL teams that he's not the person that many folks perceive him to be.

But he's doing a good job of addressing the issues head-on and offering an alternative way ("on-field motor!") of looking at some of these beliefs about his style of play.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.
Posted on: February 27, 2011 5:44 pm
Edited on: February 27, 2011 7:28 pm

Peterson aims for 4.2 40 - and end to safety talk

Posted by Derek Harper

INDIANAPOLIS -- LSU cornerback Patrick Peterson is careful not to compare himself to Charles Woodson, but the two have struck up a friendship and Peterson admits, "I definitely want to pattern my game" after the Green Bay Packers star.

The top-rated prospect in the 2011 draft by NFLDraftScout.com, Peterson’s chances of securing a top five selection would certainly be helped with Woodson’s versatility. Some scouts consider Peterson a potential candidate to move to safety, but he hopes to dispel that thought with his combine workout Tuesday.

Peterson, who said he has seven percent body fat, is aiming to run in the 4.2-second range in the 40-yard dash despite adding about seven pounds of muscle and measuring in at 6-feet and 219 pounds.

"I feel pretty swift the way I am, I feel fast, I feel quick, I feel more fluid at the weight I am right now," said Peterson. "I don't want to go out there and try to kill myself trying to lose weight because I have very little body fat. I believe I’m good at the weight I’m at right now."

Peterson said he ran a 4.29 a week ago. If he can approach that time Tuesday, Peterson will secure his spot ahead of Nebraska’s Prince Amukamara as the clear No. 1 cornerback in the draft - and a 6-footer with good ball skills and that type of speed should finally squash talk of a move to safety.

Peterson said he’s willing to move if an NFL teams asks him to, but it’s clear his preference is to remain at cornerback. And the main weakness he pointed out was his lack of experience playing zone. But that can be considered a good problem to have because LSU teaches the much more difficult press corner technique.

"I want to work on my zone coverage. We barely did that at LSU,” Peterson said. “A lot of people are saying I can't backpedal and things like that, but I definitely can. I was just going through the style of play that (LSU defensive backs) coach (Ron) Cooper and (former LSU head) coach (Nick) Saban taught me. I definitely want to show the media, all you guys, that I can backpedal and change direction as well."

This entry was cross-posted from our NFL Draft Blog. For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.
Posted on: February 27, 2011 3:42 pm
Edited on: February 27, 2011 7:27 pm

Stephen Paea sets combine record with 49 reps

Posted by Will Brinson

Oregon State defensive tackle Stephen Paea drew plenty of attention on Sunday when he set the combine record for the 225-pound bench press with 49 reps.

Say it with me: "Wow."

Paea, our fourth-ranked DT and 36th-ranked overall prospect, broke a record of 45 that was last achieved by Arkansas guard Mitch Pietrus in 2010.

And, as Chad Reuter points out in our NFL Draft Blog, Paea's "been known for his strength for some time, using his low center of gravity to play with leverage inside."

He's been dealing with a knee injury, but there's a pretty good chance that thanks to his powerful showing Sunday -- and, as Reuter notes, his "hustle" -- that he'll be seeing his value spike a little bit after this weekend.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.
Posted on: February 27, 2011 3:35 pm

Ponder out-shines Newton in 2nd QB session

Posted by Rob Rang

Cam Newton entered the second throwing session of the Combine with all of the hype, but it was Florida State's Christian Ponder who stole the show.

Ponder showed surprising zip and very good accuracy throughout the throwing session, especially in the short to intermediate levels. His deep outs and post-corner routes were especially impressive.

Newton has all of the physical tools scouts are looking for, but showed that he is still in the early developmental stages in dropping back, transferring his weight and throwing passes accurately. This led to some of his throws -- especially timing routes like deep outs -- to sail on him.

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 27, 2011 2:38 pm
Edited on: February 27, 2011 6:32 pm

Mallett, Locker impress in 1st throwing session

Posted by Rob Rang

As bad as Ryan Mallett's press conference may have been yesterday, his performance in Sunday's throwing session at the Combine should quiet some of his critics.

Mallett effortless passing made him the unquestioned star of the first session, outshining the likes of Jake Locker, Andy Dalton and several others. Cam Newton, Christian Ponder and Ricky Stanzi are some of the big names that make up the second group.

Mallett's rocket arm and good accuracy was especially evident on the tougher throws such as the deep out, fly and post-corner routes. Perhaps just as importantly -- considering the character questions that continue to dog him -- was his big smile and obvious camaraderie with the other quarterbacks and receivers throughout the workout. Of all the players throwing and catching, Mallett looked like he was having the most fun.

Washington's Jake Locker also enjoyed a strong performance. As I've said on numerous occasions in the past, Locker is as frustrating to scout as any quarterback I've ever known. He struggled early on with his accuracy some of the simpler throws -- including the throws over the middle to receivers during the gauntlet drill and the curl routes early in his throwing session.

As the session continued, however, Locker got hot, nailing the deep ball and the post-corner -- generally considered the most difficult throw quarterbacks are asked to make here. These two routes require a combination of arm strength, touch and, of course, accuracy.

Unfortunately, not every quarterback enjoyed a strong performance Sunday. TCU's Andy Dalton's average arm strength led to many of his passes fluttering, affecting his accuracy. Dalton's stock shouldn't slip much from his mediocre performance. He is a quarterback who relies on timing, and, of course, he had none with a group of receivers who he was largely meeting for the first time today.

Fresno State's Ryan Colbun and Texas A&M's Jerrod Johnson struggled mightily. Each were consistently inaccurate on the variety of throws the coaches put them through.

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 27, 2011 1:41 pm
Edited on: February 27, 2011 6:47 pm

Taylor, Locker are fastest QBs at combine

Posted by Eye on Football Staff

INDIANAPOLIS -- As expected, the two fastest quarterbacks at the NFL combine were Tyrod Taylor and Jake Locker.

Taylor led all quarterbacks with a 4.45 and Locker posted the second-best time with a 4.52.

Colin Kaepernick (4.53), Josh Portis (4.56) and Cam Newton (4.58) rounded out the top five. Blaine Gabbert, top-rated "traditional" quarterback, clocked in at 4.61.

Those times are unofficial as of right now -- NFL.com's Frank Tadych points out that if Taylor's time holds up, it would be the second-fastest at the combine since 2000 and Locker's would be the fourth fastest.

Considering how far Locker's stock fell over the past year, it's pretty impressive to see how quickly he's rebounding once getting in front of NFL execs.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed .
Posted on: February 27, 2011 11:07 am

Julio Jones burns up the combine 40 track

Posted by Eye on Football Staff

INDIANAPOLIS -- A.J. Green is by far and away the consensus top wide receiver in the 2011 NFL Draft, but Julio Jones' scorching (albeit unofficial) 4.39 40 time on Sunday will have people talking about a possible swap.

Green wasn't so shabby himself, running a 4.48 and then a 4.51.

Jones also posted a 4.41 on his other run, and probably vaulted himself into the top-10 of the draft in April with his blazing times -- Rob Rang and Chad Rueter had him going 14th and 10th, respectively, but any hope by the Rams that Jones could slip to them at that 14th spot has probably disappear.

Jones' speed probably isn't enough to warrant pushing him ahead of Green on a lot of draft boards, but it's certainly going to make things interesting in a draft class that's got some talent at wide receiver.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com