It's late February and we're entering 2011 NFL Combine week with two months to go until the 2011 NFL draft. Throughout the next couple of months players will rise and fall on draft boards and one big opportunity for players to rise is the Combine.
Brian Galliford's latest piece at SB Nation takes a look at five players with the most to gain at the 2011 NFL Combine and targets Nebraska Cornhuskers CB Prince Amukamara and Missouri Tigers QB Blaine Gabbert as two of those players.
On Amukamara, Gallfiord notes that Patrick Peterson is the No. 1 CB prospect right now and will likely go ahead of Amukamara. Nitpickers, Galliford says, have also noted that Amukamara had a bad game against Oklahoma State WR Justin Blackmon.
A solid 40 time will put Amukamara right back in the conversation as one of the best dozen or so prospects in this class, and could vault him even higher - possibly as a lock for the Top 10. The door is open, as the same nitpickers - who typically have a field day with defensive backs - are questioning what Peterson's true position may be in the NFL.
On Gabbert, Galliford writes that he's not throwing but he still has a chance to improve his stock this week.
While Cam Newton risks a slide while striving for transparency, Gabbert is squarely in the conversation near the top of the draft - and not throwing won't move him down boards. Add in the fact that it's a huge weekend for the likes of Newton and Ryan Mallett in team interviews and in the classroom, and Gabbert should have little problem coasting through the Combine.
I'd agree that Amukamara has a lot to gain but I'm not sure Gabbert does. I would guess that he and Newton are going to be neck and neck all the way up to April's draft.