"We were surprised and disappointed because Lyle was one of our best football players," coach Mack Brown said. "That's why Wednesday will be important to him. It will be his own Combine. Lyle is a better football player than he is a tester. We think that's one of the reasons why he didn't get invited. They (NFL) know he's a good football player."
Texas sent Justin Blalock, Kasey Studdard, Tim Crowder, Brian Robison, Selvin Young, Aaron Ross, Michael Griffin and Tarell Brown to Indy last month. (Former Longhorn Ramonce Taylor also participated with the RBs). Only Florida (12) and Tennessee (9) had more players invited to the four-day evaluation. He'll have his chance to make an impression Wednesday.
Yet, Sendlein's snub was particular notable since he was a first-team All-Big 12 performer who logged 26 straight starts. But the success that former Longhorn lettermen have recently enjoyed on Draft day should assist players who may be flying the radar screen, Brown believes.
"It's such an advantage for some guys that weren't invited to the Combine to have so many of our guys go to the NFL because we'll have 100 pro scouts, coaches and general managers here on Wednesday," Brown said. "It gives everybody a chance to have a good look."
Seventeen Longhorns have been drafted during the past four years. Texas has also produced at least one First Round pick in five of the past six years.
The last time Texas has had as many as eight players drafted was back in 1991, but the 2006 Longhorns could equal that mark. The 2005 national champs had six players selected.
"It's a tremendous amount of pressure on these guys on this day," Brown said. "You'd rather see them have fun. I told the guys that they're going to run as fast as they can and they're going to work as hard as they can. It is what it is, so just enjoy it and have fun. They're going to have to make a team even if they get drafted, so don't let the Draft get bigger than being able to make a team. You look at some of our guys who haven't been drafted as high as some of us thought they would be, but they're still playing and, in some cases, starting. The Draft is important, but it's not as important as continuing to play for a team after you get there."
The NFL Draft is set for Saturday, April 29.