Three former Missouri football players are scheduled to participate in the first NFL Veteran Combine, which is set for March 22 at the Arizona Cardinals’ practice facility in Tempe, Ariz.
Former Tigers defensive end and 2013 SEC defensive player of the year Michael Sam is among the invitees along with cornerback Kip Edwards and tight end Eric Waters.
Players had to be invited to the combine, which is an effort to streamline the evaluation process of free-agent players for the NFL’s 32 teams.
Sam tied Aldon Smith’s then-Missouri record with 11 1/2 sacks as a senior in 2013. He was drafted by the Rams, but cut at the end of the preseason and spent time with practice squads in St. Louis and Dallas.
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Bishop Miege graduate Shane Ray broke the Tigers’ school record with 14 1/2 sacks last season. He declared for the NFL Draft in January after his junior season.
Sam, who announced he was gay before the NFL Combine last season, hopes to become the first openly gay player to make a roster and play in an NFL game. He’s also participating in ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars” this spring.
Edwards, who went undrafted in 2013, has spent time with the Bills, Browns and Vikings, but has yet to make an active NFL roster.
He appeared in 49 games, including 23 starts, at Missouri from 2009-12, recording 157 tackles (112 solo) with 11 1/2 for a loss along with five interceptions and 16 pass breakups.
Waters signed as undrafted free agent with Pittsburgh last spring, but he was cut in training camp.
There are no players from Kansas State or Kansas known to have been invited to the inaugural event., which includes a handful of relatively well-known players like former Arkansas quarterback Tyler Wilson.
Former Chiefs safety Jerron McMillian and center Ben Gottschalk also will participate in the combine.
Wilson was projected by Sports Illustrated as the No. 1 draft pick before the 2012 season and wound up being a fourth-round pick of the Raiders.
Wilson went to camp with Oakland, Tennessee and Cincinnati the last three season.
Another former Razorback, running back Felix Jones, also is expected to participate. He was a first-round pick by the Cowboys in 2008.
During five seasons with Dallas, he had 569 carries for 2,728 yards and 11 touchdowns. He signed with Philadelphia in May 2013, but was traded to Pittsburgh before the season and recorded 48 carries for 184 yards.
Jones was out of the NFL last season as was another former Arkansas star, Jamaal Anderson, who appeared in 77 games for the Falcons, Colts and Bengals between 2007 and 2012.
Anderson was the No. 8 overall pick by Atlanta in 2008, but he’s been out of the league the last two seasons.
Louisville running back Michael Bush is also on the Veteran Combine list. He was a fourth-round pick by Oakland in 2007 and has totaled more than 4,000 yards from scrimmage and 31 touchdowns during a seven-year NFL career.