3 UCLA Football Players Receive Invitations to NFL Combine: Defense Wins The Day

Credit: Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL announced the invitees to their Scouting Combine that will kick off at the end of February. UCLA football has three former players who will put their skills on display for all 32 NFL teams in the run-up to the 2024 NFL draft, April 25-27.

3 UCLA Football Defenders Attending the NFL Combine

Laiatu Latu, Edge Rusher

Laiatu Latu was one of the most productive pass rushers in all of college football last season. He is among the top contenders to be taken as the first edge rusher of the 2024 draft class. His performance at the combine will weigh heavily on where he is selected in the draft. His draft stock dipped after the Senior Bowl, but he will be taken in the first round based on what he showed on the field.

He will compete in drills scheduled for 12 PST on Thursday, February 29th. And his media availability will be on the 28th starting at 5 am PST.

NCAA Football: Washington State at UCLA
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY SportsCredit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Gabriel Murphy, Outside Linebacker

One-half of UCLA football’s, The Murphy Twins, Gabriel Murphy had the best sack total of his career in 2023 racking up 8 sacks and 16 tackles for loss. He earned an invite to the East-West Shrine Bowl, where he had an impressive performance. His athleticism will benefit him in the various measurables events, which should help his draft position. His consensus mock draft pick is at the end of 3rd round.

His twin, Grayson, was not invited to the NFL Combine, although he did compete alongside his brother at the Shrine Bowl.

LB drills take place on Thursday, February 29th at 12pm PST. Media availability will be on the 28th starting at 6 am PST.

NCAA Football: LA Bowl-UCLA at Boise State
Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY SportsCredit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Darius Muasau, Middle Linebacker

Darius Muasau‘s draft stock shot up after his performance at the Shrine Bowl. He was among 20 players voted by coaches as exemplifying outstanding attitude, dedication, and leadership on and off the field. This may be what cemented his place on the combine roster and he can continue to rise. While he doesn’t have the quintessential size of a Mike linebacker, he has plenty of speed and agility. But, his best traits are his instinct and football IQ, which don’t translate in a 40-yard dash or 3-cone drill.

With the right preparation, the combine will earn him a high draft spot. His current consensus draft spot is 249, up from 366 before the Shrine Bowl.

LB drills take place on Thursday, February 29th at 12pm PST. Media availability will be on the 28th starting at 6 am PST.

NFL: Combine
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY SportsCredit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports