By: Barry Barnes, Founder
For the NFL Combine Series, the Super Regional Combine will not cap the 2015 sessions. The NFL will conduct their inaugural Veteran Combine as the finale, which will be held on March 22 at the Arizona Cardinals’ practice facility in Tempe, Arizona.
A hand full of former NFL headliners will venture through the Veteran Combine to be assessed, accordingly, based off their drill testing performances to earn another shot in the league. Although the Veteran Combine will conclude the NFL Combine Series this season, and probably for years to come, the NFL Regional Combine continues to be represented firmly.
“The Regional and Veterans combines are about opportunity and closure. For the invitees to the regional combine, it is an opportunity for prospects to be evaluated by the scouts as they pursue their dream of playing in the NFL,” says Troy Vincent, NFL Executive Vice President of Football Operations.
Some to note:
DE Rakim Cox
DB Jordan Sullen
DE Brandon Copeland
TE Eric Waters
DB Kyle Sebetic
DB Ryan White
T Greg Van Roten
DT Zach Minter
G Darius Morris
WR Ifeanyi Momah
WR Takashi Kurihara
All attended the NFL Regional Combine and some were invited to the NFL Super Regional Combine within the past two years.
However, they all signed with a NFL club whether during training camp or a season, mainly as member of a practice squad.
Cox was with the Minnesota Vikings during training camp last season and later joined the Miami Dolphins for a stint.
Sullen was believed to make the Denver Broncos practice squad last season because they needed help in the secondary. Unfortunately, he was released. The pride of Tulane managed to sign with the Chicago Bears, to only later land in the Steel City with the Pittsburgh Steelers to finish out the 2014 NFL campaign on their practice squad.
Copeland was with the Tennessee Titans and Waters was member of the Steelers. Sebetic was with the New York Giants, while White was a Green Bay Packer.
Van Roten was a member of the Seattle Seahawks and Minter tackles his way onto the Cincinnati Bengals’ practice squad. Morris was in the Dallas Cowboys’ camp and Momah caught onto the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ weekly practice schedule.
All 32 NFL clubs will have their scouts in attendance to survey the talented athletes to witness if their abilities can effectively impact a team’s season. In addition to the 40-Yard Dash, Short Shuttle, Vertical Jump and measurables being examined, specific-positional drills will be design to orchestrate game-like situations to determine how they would react on the field.
Running backs Michael Bush, Felix Jones and Mikel LeShoure and defensive end Michael Sam are the headliners of the Veteran Combine.
Bush was picked by the Oakland Raiders as a fourth-round selection (100th-overall) in the 2007 NFL Draft. Jones was the Dallas Cowboys first round selection (22nd-overall) in the 2008 NFL Draft. Followed by LeShoure as a second round choice (57th-overall) for the Detroit Lions in the 2011 NFL Draft.
Sam was selected by the St. Louis Rams in the seventh-round (249th-overall) in the 2014 NFL Draft, becoming the first opened-gay athlete to be drafted into the league.
Clearly, majority of the participants of the Veteran Combine want another opportunity to play on Sunday afternoons.
Frankly, this Combine gives teams the opportunity to get it right the second time around with these players. Especially for the pioneers of the NFL Regional Combine who wants to prove they are the answer a squad needs.
When it’s all said and done, closure will finally settle for all parties.
|2015 NFL Veteran Combine Participants|
|(subject to change)|
|Armstrong, Matt||C||Grand Valley State|
|Carter, Sherman||C||Tennessee State|
|Foster, Jason||C||Rhode Island|
|Gallington, Deveric||C||Texas Tech|
|Golic, Mike||C||Notre Dame|
|Gottschalk, Ben||C||Southern Methodist|
|Van Roten, Greg||C||Pennsylvania|
|Carr, Deveron||CB||Arizona State|
|Lee, Saeed||CB||Alabama State|
|Reid, Greg||CB||Valdosta State|
|Mims, Tevin||DE||South Florida|
|Harris, DaJohn||DT||Southern California|
|Jerideau, Byron||DT||South Carolina|
|Minter, Zach||DT||Montana State|
|Troup, Torell||DT||Central Florida|
|Pryor, Lonnie||FB||Florida State|
|Unga, Harvey||FB||Brigham Young|
|Wells, Justin||G||St. Augustine’s|
|White, Ian||G||Boston College|
|Baker, Chris||LB||East Carolina|
|Divitto, Steele||LB||Boston College|
|Doughty, Jake||LB||Utah State|
|Dowtin, Marcus||LB||North Alabama|
|Fox, Dan||LB||Notre Dame|
|Kimbrough, Jeremy||LB||Appalachian State|
|Rolle, Brian||LB||Ohio State|
|So’oto, Vic||LB||Brigham Young|
|Miller, Jordan||NT||Southern U.|
|Johnson, Jerrod||QB||Texas A&M|
|Robinson, Zac||QB||Oklahoma State|
|Hampton, Jewel||RB||Southern Illinois|
|Wood, Cierre||RB||Notre Dame|
|Mitchell, Charles||S||Mississippi State|
|Owusu-Ansah, Akwasi||S||Indiana, Pa.|
|Starling, Jawanza||S||Southern California|
|Aladenoye, Josh||T||Illinois State|
|Breckner, Jack||T||Gustavus Adolphus|
|Foketi, Manase||T||West Texas A&M|
|Childers, Jamie||TE||Coastal Carolina|
|Momah, Ifeanyi||TE||Boston College|
|Ogbuehi, Emmanuel||TE||Georgia State|
|Veldman, Matt||TE||North Dakota State|
|Walker, Dallas||TE||Western Michigan|
|Anderson, Joe||WR||Texas Southern|
|Jean, Lestar||WR||Florida Atlantic|
|Johnson, Darius||WR||Southern Methodist|
|Kurihara, Tukashi||WR||No College|
|Mayo, Thomas||WR||California, Pa.|
|Mitchell, Carlton||WR||South Florida|
|Slaughter, Nathan||WR||West Texas A&M|