First ever NFL Veterans Combine: Analysis and players to watch

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Tonight the world will witness the NFL’s inaugural Veterans Combine. The idea of a veteran’s showcase has been floating around league tables for years but will finally come into fruition tonight. The event will take place at the Arizona Cardinals practice facility and be aired live on NFL Network and at 8 p.m ET.

First, I just want to add that I absolutely love the idea and I am looking forward to watching it tonight. These aren’t 20 year old rookie knuckleheads trying to move up a round in the draft. This combine will showcase a selection of grizzled NFL veterans who want one last shot at helping a NFL team as well as exhibit unknown names looking to become relevant in their young careers. These are your has-beens and has-nots of the football world.

A few former Detroit Lions and players with ties to the Michigan area that will be participating are listed below.

Mikel Leshore RB Illinois
Aaron Berry CB Pittsburgh
Matt Veldman TE North Dakota State
Craig Roh DE Michigan
Dallas Walker TE Western Michigan
Matt Armstrong C Grand Valley State


The most recognizable name on that list is of course Leshore, who could be seen as the face of the Lions infamous failed 2011 draft class. Aaron Berry was a starter at one point with the Lions but could not stay healthy and was subsequently released. Matt Veldman had stints on Detroit’s practice squad but has disappeared since. Craig Roh was an All-Big Ten defensive end for Michigan and has since been seen dominating the field in the little-known Fall Experimental Football League (FEFL). Dallas Walker is a former quarterback turned tight end for the Western Michigan Broncos who’s freakish athleticism never translated anywhere on the field of play. Rounding out this group is former Grand Valley State standout Matt Armstrong who won the 2014 Division II Rimington Award as the nation’s top center.

Scroll through the next few pages to find out a few other players to watch for in tonight’s event.