Obviously a player like Cam Newton needs to look good at the NFL Combine, but plenty of others have to impress in Indianapolis. These five players need a good Combine to secure their place in the draft.
Robert Quinn | DE | North Carolina
Concern to address: Everything
This is not an arguable point: No player needs the Combine more than Quinn. He hasn't played football since 2009 when he was a sophomore. What kind of shape is he in? Is he big and strong enough to play defensive end in the NFL? Is he as agile as he look on film? How will he do in interviews? Those are all unknowns and Quinn needs to look and sound good.
Prince Amukamara | CB | Nebraska
Concern to address: Speed
The 40-yard dash is overrated, but Amukamara will need to run a good time to stay ahead of fellow cornerbacks Jimmy Smith and Brandon Harris. If Amukamara doesn't have good workout numbers, many will begin to wonder if he's more of a safety at the NFL level.
Ryan Mallett | QB | Arkansas
Concern to address: Character
Every year at the Combine, details will invariably leak out about the interviews players have with teams. Arguably no player has to ace the interview process more than Mallett. Although they are thus far unfounded, there are plenty of rumors about Mallett allegedly using drugs. He should expect NFL teams to pry. How he keeps his poise when they do may indicate his draft fate.
Ryan Kerrigan | DE | Purdue
Concern to address: Agility
Kerrigan was wildly productive at Purdue in 2010 with 12.5 sacks and 26 tackles for loss. Kerrigan has been saying he's open to a move to 3-4 outside linebacker, but does he have the agility to do so? Kerrigan has been working on his hip flexibility. If that translates to good numbers in agility drills, he could find a top 20 draft spot.
Derrick Locke | RB | Kentucky
Concern to address: Overall ability
The deep but average running back class is practically begging for a breakout player. It could be Locke if he has a stellar Combine. After a good Senior Bowl week, the buzz on Locke began to build when he showed between-the-tackles ability. But because of his size (5-foot-8 and 186 pounds) he may have to be great in several different drills, including the bench press.