It may seem like just a simple workout in a shirt and shorts, but for Cam Newton and Jake Locker, the 2011 NFL Combine represents an opportunity to silence the critics and boost their draft stocks with a strong showing. Locker comes to Indianapolis with questions about his accuracy and mechanics, but will likely wow scouts with his measurables, especially in the 40-yard dash and agility drills. Newton, on the other hand, appears to safely be in the top-half of the first round, but could supplant Blaine Gabbert as the top quarterback in the 2011 NFL Draft class.
Though most top-flight quarterback opt not to throw at the combine, or participate in any drills, only Blaine Gabbert will skip the throwing portion of the drills this year. Newton, Locker and Ryan Mallett all plan to throw, with Newton's decision surprising to many.
Both Locker and Newton have been working tirelessly with personal quarterback coaches ahead of the draft in an effort to improve their mechanics, accuracy and footwork while each tries to boost their draft stock. Because they're both in the middle of a transition period, it's a bit odd they both plan to throw at the combine instead of waiting until their own pro days, where they can throw to their own receivers in a scripted workout.
It's a risky move for Newton, who has more to lose than the rest of the quarterbacks at the combine with a poor performance. Locker needs a solid showing to carry momentum into his own pro day, at least showing a glimmer of potential to the scouts in attendance.
It all gets underway early on Sunday morning with the first wave of quarterbacks hitting the field for the 40-yard dash at 6 a.m. PST. For the latest news from Indianapolis, check out our 2011 NFL Combine StoryStream.