Mizzou Sends Seven Players to NFL Combine


Eric Kelly and Chinmay Vaidya cover the Missouri football players at the NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Ind.

By Chinmay Vaidya, 23 Sports

After an 11-2 season, an SEC East championship and a victory in the AT&T Cotton Bowl, seven Missouri Tigers football players were invited to the NFL Combine in Indianapolis, Ind. The players participated in media sessions, combine drills and team interviews. Every Mizzou player looked to improve his draft stock at the event.

Kony Ealy, DE- Ealy posted 8.0 sacks and 14 tackles for loss in his junior season. The defensive end was a major part of the Missouri defense and is projected to be a first-round draft pick. Ealy compares his skills to those of Aldon Smith and J.J. Watt.

Michael Sam, DE- Sam made headlines before the combine with his announcement, becoming the first openly gay NFL player, assuming he gets drafted. Sam was awarded SEC Co-Defensive Player of the Year with 11.5 sacks and a forced fumble that sealed Mizzou’s Cotton Bowl victory. He is projected to be drafted somewhere in rounds 3-5.

E.J. Gaines, CB- Gaines, who stands at 5-11, wasn’t afraid to get physical with opposing wide receivers. The senior tallied 75 tackles and five interceptions. He also returned a fumble for a touchdown in the SEC Championship Game. Gaines is projected to be drafted in round 3-4.

L’Damian Washington, WR- Washington emerged in a loaded wide receiver group with 50 catches for 893 yards and 10 touchdowns. He also got attention at the combine for running a 4.46 40-yard dash. At 6-4, Washington is projected to be drafted in rounds 5-6.

Marcus Lucas, WR- Lucas improved on his junior stats with a solid senior season, grabbing 58 passes for 602 yards and three touchdowns. He caught a touchdown in the Cotton Bowl and possesses great size at 6-5. Lucas is likely to go undrafted, but will get his shot in training camp.

Henry Josey, RB- Josey had a massive junior season, carrying the ball 174 times for 1,166 yards. The running back also tallied 16 touchdowns on the ground. Josey said the knee was not a factor in him leaving early and it showed with his 4.43 40-yard dash at the combine. Josey is projected to be drafted in round 7.

Justin Britt, OL- While Britt doesn’t have many stats to back up his strong play, he possesses NFL size at 6-6, 325. Britt was instrumental in keeping Missouri’s quarterbacks off the ground and is projected to be drafted in round 6.

Missouri will showcase its draft-eligible players at Mizzou Pro Day on March 20. This will be the last chance for the players to impress coaches and scouts before the NFL Draft on May 8.