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Niners Nation After Dark: The NFL Combine Appetizer Before the 2011 NFL Draft

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NN After Dark 2
NN After Dark 2

The President's Day Holiday is over and we're back for another night of Niners Nation After Dark. I was going to post something last night but decided NN After Dark would celebrate the holiday anyway. For our friends across the pond I'm guessing you did not have the extended weekend (unless you're American military) so I suppose you've been waiting impatiently for the latest after hours party at NN...or maybe not, who knows.

Now that we're through the holiday weekend, it's a big week for us here at Niners Nation. On Wednesday the week-long NFL Combine kicks off. The Combine is the last major event in which the big draft-eligible names from across the country gather in one place before the 2011 NFL Draft. Consider this an appetizer to buy you time before the Draft. That will be followed up over the course of March with Pro Days at colleges across America. All the draft-eligible players use their Pro Days to work out for NFL scouts. It provides central locations for NFL teams to send their personnel folks to get a final look at potential draft picks.

As we head into those two significant events, I was curious if any of you had small school folks or particular positions you wanted NN to focus in on over the next five weeks. Once April hits it's just a matter of working our way towards the NFL Draft. There will be plenty of info out there, but the next five weeks will be the last "new" information for the most part that will be culled before the Draft. The 49ers will bring in local kids for workouts, but the Combine and Pro Day are two of the more significant events.

This week is also big for NN because after some discussion I was able to snag a media membership to Pro Football Focus. Statistical analysis has become all the rage and PFF provides their own spin on the analysis. They've gone through every NFL snap from last season and used it to provide statistical measurements and ratings of players. There are some methodological issues that arise in their rankings, but their cumulative stats can be rather helpful. For example, you can figure out how many yards a running back gained after contact over the course of the season, or the number of QB hits and pressures an offensive tackle gave up.

We'll be using PFF's information for various posts in the coming months. We'll always maintain a disclaimer of the subjective nature of some of their information, but at the same time it's helpful for opening up discussion. If you get a moment check out their site and leave a comment here about any particular analysis you'd like us to conduct here at NN.