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Skill Positions Hit Field at NFL Combine

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Quarterbacks, wide receivers and running backs get on the gridiron today at Lucas Oil Field in Indianapolis, Indiana for the 2011 NFL Combine. They'll show the coaches, scouts and other media their skills in a bunch of drills, with most eyes on the 40-yard dash, followed by the bench press. Quarterbacks will also be most closely watched in their throwing drills, for technique and accuracy, while the wideouts will be judged on running their patterns and catching the balls.

The running back class in this year's draft is led by Alabama's Mark Ingram, but after him, the pickings are slim and there is a good chance he might be the only RB selected in the first round of April's NFL Draft. However, the wide receiver class might be one of the best in years, with at least five expected to go in round one.

So far, all the results have not been posted, but the day's fastest time so far is little known WR Edmond Gates, out of Abilene-Christian University, who ran a very fast unofficial 4.35 forty-yard dash. Abilene Christian has produced a couple of NFL players, the most recent Johnny Knox (Chicago Bears) and Bernard Scott (Cincinnati Bengals). Big name wide receivers Julio Jones (Alabama) ran an unofficial 4.43 while Georgia's A.J. Green ran a 4.48. While these are slower than Gates' time, they are considered pretty fast for receivers of their big size, especially coveted by NFL teams.