Four Canadians received invitations to the 2015 NFL Scouting Combine.
BRANDON BRIDGE (QB, Mississauga, ON) and teammate Wes Saxton are the first players in University of South Alabama history to be invited to the annual pre-draft event.
Bridge is one of only 15 quarterbacks invited to the combine, which will be held Feb. 17-23 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.
The six-foot-five, 235-pound former Peel Region star threw for 1,927 yards and 15 touchdowns with 8 interceptions in 2014, while adding 297 yards and 4 scores on the ground.
Bridge was a standout at St. Marcellinus High School in Mississauga. He led the school to back-to-back championships.
“I want to be the next best thing coming out of Canada,” Bridge told the Toronto Star in November. “The only players (from Canada) who really get a shot are offensive and defensive linemen, not really the skilled positions. I want to kind of break that barrier like Mark Rypien and Jesse Palmer did.”
Palmer and Rypien are the only two Canadians to have started a game at quarterback in the NFL.
Bleeding Green nation, an Eagles fan blog, reported that Eagles Coach Chip Kelly has his eye on Bridge.
AM New York blogger Nick Klopsis also included Bridge in his list of 10 sleepers to watch at the draft:
“Outside of Marcus Mariota and Jameis Winston, the 2015 quarterback class is severely lacking. That being said, South Alabama QB Brandon Bridge could be a good late-round developmental project. The senior is a strong-armed, mobile passer, but he does have some issues with mechanics that need to be fixed.”
BRETT BOYKO (OT, Saskatoon, SK) also received an invitation to the combine. The six-foot-seven, 310-pound left tackle actually played quarterback while at St. Joseph high school. Yet he was recruited as a lineman by the University of Nevada Las Vegas, where he was eventually named to the Mountain West Conference’s 2nd all-star team.
An elbow injury suffered in Boyko’s final NCAA game this season kept him out of the recent Shrine Game, but most draft publications still predict he will be selected in the later rounds of the 2015 NFL Draft.
CHRISTIAN COVINGTON (DT, Vancouver, BC) received his combine invite after announcing that he would forgo his senior year at Rice University in order to declare for the 2015 NFL Draft. The three-year starter is on track to graduate in May.
The six-foot-three, 300-pound former Vancouver College star entered the 2014-15 season as a consensus All-Conference USA selection. Yet injuries have diminished his spot in mock drafts (on Nov. 1 Covington dislocated his left kneecap against Florida International University).
In the seven games Covington did play this season, he recorded 20 tackles, four tackles for loss and three sacks.
The son of former CFL defensive end Grover Covington is currently rated the seventh best defensive tackle in the draft by CBS Sports.
TYLER VARGA(RB, Kitchener, ON) earned his combine invitation after an impressive showing in front of scouts at the January 24 Senior Bowl. The five-foot-ten, 227-pound versatile back scored two touchdowns in the game, and to led the North squad to a 34-13 victory in the annual top-prospects game. rushed for scores of 13 and seven yards in the fourth quarter.
Overall Varga finished with four carries for 31 yards and caught four passes for 39 yards while serving as the North team’s Captain.
Varga, who played at Yale, was the Ivy League offensive player of the year in 2014. He played high school football at Cameron Heights Collegiate.