Combine'11: Only two QBs won't throw

Both Jake Locker, left, and Ryan Mallett are expected to throw at the combine. US Presswire

INDIANAPOLIS -- Greetings from Lucas Oil Stadium, where I'm getting situated in the media center as the NFL's annual scouting combine commences.

The first workouts don't begin until Friday, but certain player groups have already begun the process of interviewing with teams and taking medical tests. Quarterbacks will work out on Sunday, and because everyone loves quarterbacks -- especially those of you who hope the Minnesota Vikings will find one this year -- let's bring you up to date on the combine plans for this year's top passers.

Eight of the past 12 quarterbacks drafted in the first round have opted out of the passing portion of their workouts, instead focusing attention on their college Pro Days or individually-scheduled workouts. But as ESPN's Todd McShay notes, only two quarterbacks have expressed intent to skip the throwing portion of this year's workouts.

That list includes Missouri's Blaine Gabbert and Florida State's Christian Ponder. Otherwise, McShay is expecting Auburn's Cam Newton, Washington's Jake Locker, Arkansas' Ryan Mallett and Nevada's Colin Kaepernick to throw.

The decision to forgo parts of the combine workout has frustrated teams but rarely impacted the player's draft status. In reality, quarterbacks and agents who limit pre-draft throwing to the controlled environment of their college campuses usually do a fine job selling themselves. Most quarterbacks have no choice but to participate. But for those who already are considered top prospects, like Newton or Locker, it's is a calculated risk to throw at the combine -- where they have little control over the type of throws they're asked to make or the receivers they're throwing to.

Teams are impressed by the confidence of those who agree to step out of their comfort zone and throw. Does it help a player's draft stock? That's a debatable point at best.

More in a bit.