Whitehair, Gronkowski Invited to NFL Combine

MANHATTAN, Kan. – Former Kansas State offensive lineman Cody Whitehair and fullback Glenn Gronkowski were among the 300-plus players invited to the 2016 NFL Combine, Feb. 23-29, at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana, the National Football League announced Thursday afternoon.

The invites mark the fourth-straight season K-State has sent multiple players to the most vital event on the path to the NFL Draft. Last season, wide receiver/kicker returner Tyler Lockett and center B.J. Finney were invited to the combine. Lockett, who was drafted in the third round by the Seattle Seahawks, went on to earn a spot in the Pro Bowl as a rookie, while Finney was on the practice squad for the Pittsburgh Steelers this past season.

Prior to last year, two Wildcats – long snapper Marcus Heit and offensive lineman Cornelius Lucas – went to the combine, while five players – linebacker Arthur Brown, place kicker Anthony Cantele, wide receiver Chris Harper, quarterback Collin Klein and fullback Braden Wilson – worked out in the 2013 edition.

Both Whitehair and Gronkowski participated in the Reese’s Senior Bowl two weeks ago after All-Big 12 seasons in 2015. Whitehair was a four-time All-Big 12 performer and two-year team captain who played in 52 career games with 51 starts, including the final 26 of his career at left tackle. An honorable mention selection for the 2015 Big 12 Offensive Lineman of the Year award, the Abilene, Kansas, native was on the watch lists for the Outland Trophy and Lombardi Awards each of the last two seasons.

Whitehair has been projected as a first- or second-round draft pick by many publications, while NFL Network Draft Analyst Mike Mayock rated Whitehair as the top offensive guard available in the 2016 NFL Draft.

Gronkowski, who earned All-Big 12 honors from the Associated Press as a redshirt junior last season, graduated from K-State and elected to declare for the NFL. Aside from being an excellent blocker, Gronkowski hauled in 15 catches for 369 yards and five touchdowns during his three-year career, while he rushed 11 times for 45 yards – including an 11-yard touchdown at Kansas – during his junior campaign.

On-field workouts for offensive linemen at the 2016 NFL Combine will be held on Friday, Feb. 26, while H-backs/tight ends will be on the field on Saturday, Feb. 27. Coverage of the combine will be on NFL Network and online at www.nfl.com/combine/live.