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Three ex-Cats headed to NFL Combine this month

Nick Foles

Nick Foles attempts one of his 15 passes at the Senior Bowl. Photo by Chuck Cook-US PRESSWIRE

Three former Arizona Wildcats have been officially invited to the NFL Combine: Quarterback Nick Foles, wide receiver Juron Criner and cornerback Trevin Wade.

Those three were on an initial list last month, but no other ex-Cat was included in the final list of 328 draft prospects. Six former Arizona State players are on the list.

Criner helped himself at workouts for the Senior Bowl last month, likely moving into the second- or third-round range. A good time in the 40-yard dash would improve or further second his place as a top 100 pick.

Foles received mixed reviews for his week at the Senior Bowl, although he played well in the game, including a touchdown pass to Criner. Foles can use the Combine — held Feb. 22-28 in Indianapolis — to separate from a pack of “second-tier” quarterbacks behind Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III and, perhaps, Ryan Tannehill.

Wade, a second-team All-Pac-12 selection as a senior, is generally seen as a late-round pick (perhaps middle-round pick, if all goes well).

“The reality is he played better as a senior than he did as a junior, and scouts are looking for that,” NFLDraftScout.com senior writer Rob Rang told me last month. “Scouts are looking for that mental toughness to come back after a tough year.”

Arizona’s next-best draft prospect likely is defensive back Robert Golden, who recently did a Q&A with New Era Scouting. NFLDraftScout.com rates Golden as a seventh-round or free agent prospect.

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