NFL International Combine Invites: Latin America

Three athletes from Latin America will make the journey to London and compete in the NFL International Combine. Players from this region have had success in the NFL’s International Pathway Progam as Mexican offensive lineman Isaac Alarcon and Alfredo Guiterrez Alfredo Guiterrez have cemented themselves on the practice roster of the Dallas Cowboys and San Francisco 49ers.

This year three players with experience in Mexico’s competitive college football scene hope to be the next players to make the jump to the NFL. Let’s take a look at the list.

Hector Zepeada – OL – 6’4 300 – Mexico

Zepada took part in the NFL IPP program last year but failed to get picked up by an NFL team following the draft. Many scouts liked what they saw from him last year and expect him to be back in Florida competing for another NFL chance this spring. The Mexican lineman is hoping for a second chance to join former college teammates Isaac Alarcon and Alfredo Guiterrez in the NFL. Luckily, Zepada should be prepared for the next level having played for one of Mexico’s top college programs in powerhouse Monterrey Tech. For the Borregos program Hector showed versatility starting at guard and tackle for what many have called “the Alabama” of Mexico’s college football system. Zepada played next to current Dallas Cowboy Isaac Alarcon early in his college career.

Many players have had success in their second go-round in the program as David Bada, Adedayo Odeleye, Ayo Oyelola all were able to get into the NFL after going through the program for a second time.

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Check out Zepepada’s college highlights below

Jaime Humbero Jiron Bowles  – DE/TE – 6’6 245 – Panama

Jiron is a big body with excellent football experience playing for the UVM Linces in Mexico’s college football scene.

The 21-year-old invitee played defensive end for the Linces last season and was one of a large group of Panamanian players chasing their football dream to Mexico. Many of them contributed to their teams in the competitive Mexican ONEFA (NCAA of Mexico). 

Jiron was however truly dominant in Panama, so much so that he currently holds the Panama Football League record for sacks in a season. He did this in his rookie season in the country’s top league where he played one season. 

NFL scouts are not sure whether the Panamanian football prodigy is a tight end or defensive end as his build makes him an intriguing prospect for NFL scouts. It will be interesting to see what drills he performs at the combine. 

Ernesto Ibarra Rodriquez – LB 6’4 235 – UANL Mexico

Rodriquez is another veteran of Mexico’s college football scene as an impact defender for the Authentic Tigers of the Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo Leó, one of Mexico’s best teams. The 23-year old is a tough edge defender who is a versatile piece in the talented Tigers defense. Rodriquez has played both edge and inside linebacker, always making his impact felt for the Tigers.

Rodriquez comes from a football family as his stepfather played in NFL Europe and also spent time with the Denver Broncos

Rodriguez and fellow NFL International combine invite Hector Zepeada have met often before as their two college teams are both rivals and opposing title contenders back in Mexico.

The NFL’s International Combine is scheduled for October 3-4 in London.

Alex is a former professional American football player who is now studying in London. His goal writing for AFI is to stay involved with the game that has given him so much. Alex enjoys covering leagues and players and sharing different football