The 2011 NFL Combine wrapped up yesterday with what some might have called the Main Event between LSU cornerback Patrick Peterson and Nebraska cornerback Prince Amukamara. Each day of the combine featured incredible talent. One could argue Monday's defensive linemen workouts featured two of the top potential picks in Nick Fairley and Marcell Dareus. However, I would argue the various drills of the Combine were as much suited for the cornerbacks as any other position. Speed, leaping ability, and physical power is all important, thus making things like the 40, the jumps, the cone drills, and the positional drills all of considerable value for judging cornerbacks.
As we approach the 2011 NFL Draft, I think we can say that Patrick Peterson might have boosted his stock out of the 49ers range. The draft needs of the top six teams could drop him to seven, but I would be a bit surprised at this point if it happened. Peterson ran a 4.32 40-yard dash, which was good for second best among all players at the Combine. He finished tied for fifth among cornerbacks with Prince Amukamara in the vertical jump with a 38 inch jump. He finished sixth in the broad jump at 10 feet six inches. He finished fourth in the 3-cone drill, ninth in the 20-yard shuttle run, and fourth in the 60-yard shuttle run. All in all a very strong performance.
The good news for 49ers fans that desperately want a cornerback in the draft is that Prince Amukamara might have boosted his stock enough to justify selecting him seventh overall. The 49ers have plenty of areas they can address with the seventh pick outside of cornerback, but Prince might be a decent option at this pick. There was some concern about his speed by he ran a 4.43 40, which was just outside the top ten for all positions. He was fifth in the vertical jump, second in the broad jump, and 13th in the 20-yard shuttle run. More importantly, it sounds like he did a solid enough job in his positional drills.
Is the 49ers cornerback position weak enough that selecting Amukamara can be justified? Or does he not rate high enough for you compared to the likes of Von Miller and/or others? Later today Drew will be putting together some positional recaps that will extend over the next week. I'm curious to hear his thoughts on what might be a developing triumverate of talent including Amukamara, Miller, and Robert Quinn.