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NFL Combine lures Hogs, Golden Lion

by Tom Murphy | February 9, 2023 at 6:02 a.m.
Jaden Haselwood

FAYETTEVILLE -- The University of Arkansas will be well represented at the 2023 NFL Scouting Combine in a few weeks in Indianapolis.

Razorback receivers Jaden Haselwood and Matt Landers, offensive linemen Ricky Stromberg and Dalton Wagner and linebacker Drew Sanders will take part in the week-long event at Lucas Oil Field starting Feb. 28 after receiving invitations from the NFL.

Arkansas-Pine Bluff offensive lineman Mark Evans II, a 6-4, 295-pounder from Houston, also received an invitation to the event.

Landers and Wagner played big roles in the Razorbacks' 55-53 triple-overtime win against Kansas in the Liberty Bowl on Dec. 28. Haselwood, Sanders and Stromberg, who had eligibility remaining if they had elected to take it, declared early for the NFL Draft to begin preparations for the combine and individual workouts.

Haselwood, Stromberg, Wagner and defensive tackle Terry Hampton all had invitations to participate in the East West Shrine Bowl, held last week in Las Vegas. Linebacker Bumper Pool had also accepted an invitation to play in that all-star game, but it came before he underwent two hip surgeries.

Sanders is seen by most NFL Draft analysts as a first-round pick after transferring from Alabama and taking a star turn in one season at Arkansas with 9.5 sacks to tie for 15th in the country and seventh on the Razorbacks' single-season list. Sanders, a 6-5, 233-pounder from Denton, Texas, also had a team-high 103 tackles, 13.5 tackles for loss, 6 quarterback hurries, 5 pass breakups, 3 forced fumbles, a fumble recovery and an interception on his packed stat line.

Haselwood and Landers, transfers from Oklahoma and Toledo, respectively, wound up as the top pass catchers for Arkansas quarterback KJ Jefferson.

Haselwood had 59 receptions for 702 yards and 3 touchdowns, while Landers contributed 47 catches for a team-high 901 yards and 8 touchdowns.

Against Kansas, Landers had 3 catches for 121 yards, including a 59-yard score, and an end around for 15 yards late in the game that led to a controversial fumble ruling and helped trigger a Jayhawk comeback to force overtime.

Wagner distinguished himself at right tackle in that game by finishing out a sixth season with his 40th start in his 53rd game and helping freshman E'Marion Harris fill in at right guard following an injury to Ty'Kieast Crawford.

Stromberg, a center and the 2021 winner of the SEC's Jacobs Blocking Trophy, started 44 games during his Arkansas career.

Hampton, a transfer from Arkansas State, notched two tackles, including a 3-yard sack of Kansas quarterback Jalon Daniels, in the Liberty Bowl. The El Dorado native had 25 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss, 2 sacks and 1 pass breakup.


  photo  Matt Landers

  photo  Ricky Stromberg

  photo  Dalton Wagner

  photo  Mark Evans II

  photo  Drew Sanders

Print Headline: NFL combine lures Hogs, Golden Lion


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