The 2011 NFL Combine will feature three players from the Colorado Buffaloes: cornerbacks Jalil Brown and Jimmy Smith and offensive tackle Nate Solder. They are three of the 329 total players invited to the event. Lucas Oil Field in Indianapolis, home of the Indianapolis Colts, will host the event as usual. From Thursday, Feb. 24-Tuesday, March 1, these future NFL players will go through a variety of drills as well as interviews with NFL scouts and player personnel.
Smith and Solder could be drafted in the first round, and Brown increased his draft stick during the Senior Bowl.
Several players that the Denver Broncos should examine closely at the Combine include: Clemson defensive end Da'Quan Bowers, Alabama defensive end Marcell Dareus, Auburn defensive tackle Nick Fairley, Texas A&M defensive end/linebacker Von Miller, LSU cornerback Patrick Peterson and ex-North Carolina defensive end Robert Quinn.
Ranking them at the moment, Peterson, Bowers and Dareus seem to be the best selections for the Broncos. Peterson would either take over for a departed Champ Bailey in the secondary or make for a nice cornerback tandem. Either way, Peterson is worth the No. 2 selection. Bowers and Dareus would provide youth and talent to a defensive line that has struggled over the years.
Fairley is widely considered the top choice for the Carolina Panthers at No. 1 and questions abound over his maturity level, which could move him down on many teams' draft boards. The talent is undeniable, but does he have the desire to do it on every play?
Miller and Quinn are the outside candidates right now. Miller will likely pick his hand up off the field when he steps on a pro field, but he would be a good complement to Elvis Dumervil. Quinn missed the 2010 season due to illegal contact with an agent. The Combine will do much to determine his future.