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Arkansas DL Robert Thomas draws NFL Combine invitation

Matthew Emmons / USA Today Sports
Arkansas DT Robert Thomas suffered a broken leg in October, but recorded 3.5 sacks and six tackles for loss in seven games.

Arkansas defensive tackle Robert Thomas made the cut for the 2014 NFL Scouting Combine, tweeting Friday that he had been invited to the annual gathering of the nation's top NFL prospects in Indianapolis.

For the elite prospects who have been projected as top draft choices, such an invitation is a mere formality and nothing to be overly excited about. For Thomas, it means a little more.

The Razorbacks senior broke a bone in his left leg in October, ending his college career and a productive senior season that was becoming just what Thomas needed to attract NFL scouts. In seven games, he posted six tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks, which is impressive big-play production for an interior defensive lineman who frequently drew double-team blocking.

It's unclear how much Thomas will be able to participate in the combine, given his rehabilitation schedule. Arkansas coach Bret Bielema initially indicated Thomas would need three to four months to recover, and the combine will be held in late February, just more than four months after his injury. That doesn't necessarily mean he'll be able, or willing, to participate in every drill.

Arkansas defensive line, the strength of a team that went winless in SEC play, could see all four of its starters drafted in May. Thomas, tackle Byran Jones and ends Trey Flowers and Chris Smith are all considered potential NFL players.

Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter @ChaseGoodbread.

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