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Ten to Watch At the NFL Scouting Combine


Meetings have ended, for now. It's time for the Redskins' coaches and scouts to see firsthand what the top college prospects are all about at the NFL Scouting Combine.

The Redskins hold the No. 10 pick in the first round of the draft.

Even though team officials have identified positions of need by this point, they want to evaluate every player to finalize the draft board.

Who are some of the top prospects who could get a close look by the Redskins' brass?

Here are 10 to keep an eye on as the NFL Scouting Combine unfolds, starting on Saturday:


The Redskins could have a need at cornerback if Carlos Rogers and Phillip Buchanon depart as free agents this offseason. Most draft experts project LSU's Patrick Peterson and Amakumara as elite cornerback prospects and one of the two could fall to the Redskins. Amakumara posted five interceptions and 11 pass break-ups in his junior season and 13 pass break-ups as a senior. He proved himself as a solid tackler as well.


If Texas A&M's Von Miller is off the draft board at No. 10, as draft experts suggest, then the Redskins could target Ayers, a two-year starter for the Bruins. He played in a 4-3 in college but his 6-4, 255-pound frame should make him suitable for 3-4 as well. Ayers started the last two years for the Bruins in a 4-3 but he could be suitable as a 3-4 pass rusher. He logged 183 tackles, 14 sacks and six interceptions in his college career. He finished third for the Butkus Award, given to the nation's top college linebacker.


The Redskins have been linked to quarterbacks in the draft ever since Mike Shanahan suggested the team would pursue one in the draft last season. Gabbert is regarded as the top quarterback available in the draft. He started two years for the Tigers, completing 60.9 percent of his passes for 6,822 yards, 40 touchdowns and 18 interceptions. He possesses good size and mobility, but he played in a spread offense at Missouri.


Would the Redskins target a running back in the first round? Seems unlikely. If they do, then Ingram �?? who some are comparing to Emmitt Smith �?? is the top prospect available. Ingram won the Heisman Trophy in 2009 leading the Crimson Tide to the National Championship. In three years with the Crimson Tide, he rushed for 3,261 rushing yards, a 5.7 yards-per-carry average and 42 touchdowns. He also logged 60 catches for 683 yards and four touchdowns.


With Santana Moss scheduled to become a free agent this offseason, wide receiver is fast becoming a glaring need for the Redskins. Georgia's A.J. Green is the consensus top wide receiver in the draft, but Jones is a close second and one of the two could fall to No. 10. At 6-4 and 220 pounds, Jones brings great size and speed. He improved every year at Alabama, culminating with a career-best 78 catches for 1,133 yards and seven touchdowns last season.


Jordan is a 6-4, 283-pound defensive lineman who could be suitable as 4-3 tackle or a 3-4 end in the pros. He started three years for the Golden Bears, finishing his college career with 175 tackles, 34 tackles for a loss and 17.5 sacks. Jordan has extremely long arms, making him a reliable tackler especially in the run game. His father Steve was a six-time Pro Bowl tight end for the Minnesota Vikings from 1982-94.


Perhaps no other player will be scrutinized as much as Newton at the combine. And Redskins fans are already tuned in to Newton after ESPN's Mel Kiper and Todd McShay penciled him in as the Redskins' pick in their mock drafts. The 2010 Heisman Trophy winner has impressive size at 6-6 and 250 pounds and seems to have the intangibles as a leader. He started just one year at Auburn, though, and serious questions remain about how he was recruited to Auburn after transferring from Florida. Through it all, he completed 66.1 percent of his passes for 2,854 yards, 30 TDs and seven interceptions in leading the Tigers to a National Championship.


NFL Network's Mike Mayock has been touting Quinn heading into the combine and he believes Quinn could rise all the way to the No. 1 pick in the draft. That means Quinn likely won't be available when the Redskins pick. At 6-5 and 270 pounds, Quinn is likely a better fit as a defensive end in a 4-3 but he could transition to a 3-4 outside linebacker much like Dallas's DeMarcus Ware did in 2005 coming out of Troy. As a sophomore, Quinn had 52 tackles, 19 tackles for a loss and 11 sacks, but he was suspended all last season by the NCAA for receiving improper benefits from an agent.


Want a local product to root on at the combine? Smith, the 6-1, 205-pound Terp, is a prospect to keep an eye on in the 40-yard dash. An explosive wide receiver, he should challenge for the top 40 time at the combine. Smith emerged as a starter midway through his freshman season and he finished his college career with 152 catches for 2,215 yards and 19 touchdowns. He is a native of Colonial Beach, Va.


Nose tackle is thought to be a need for the Redskins and their 26th-ranked run defense. Taylor, 6-4 and 340 pounds, improved his draft status with a strong showing at the Senior Bowl last month. He is regarded as a top-notch run defender. His weight may need to be monitored, but it does not seem to slow him down on the football field. He started the last two years at Baylor, posting 107 tackles, 16 tackles for a loss and 5.5 sacks. A native of Clinton, Md., Taylor originally played at Penn State but was dismissed from the team after an altercation with a teammate. He transferred to Baylor instead and has thrived since.

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