Notre Dame Football: Fighting Irish Stars Who Will Be NFL Draft Gems
Notre Dame is football factory.
The Fighting Irish consistently breed talent that enters the NFL draft and makes an impact in the league. This year will be no different. Here are three players to watch that’ll hear their names called on draft weekend quite early next April.
3. Cierre Wood, RB
Notre Dame’s offense didn’t impress in 2011, but any flashes of brilliance that weren’t provided by Michael Floyd were of Cierre Wood’s doing. The 6’0”, 215-pound halfback rushed for 1,102 yards and nine touchdowns last season on 5.1 yards a pop. He also showed the ability to contribute in the passing game, reeling in 27 receptions for 189 yards.
Wood may not go off the board until the third day, but he’s still a top-10 player at his position, and there are always mid-to-late round backs that find the field from day one in the NFL.
2. Tyler Eifert, TE
If the Fighting Irish get any consistency from the quarterback position next season, Tyler Eifert will blow up. It’d be a shock if the 6’6”, 251-pound monster doesn’t enter the draft process as the No. 1 tight end prospect in the class.
Last season, he recorded 63 catches for 803 yards and five touchdowns. Despite posting solid numbers, he only scratched the surface of his potential.
1. Manti Te’o, LB
Should Te'o have declared last year?
Manti Te’o would’ve been a first-round lock if he entered the draft this past year, but he chose to return for his senior season. In his three years at Notre Dame, he racked up a whopping 324 tackles. Expect him to wreak enough havoc throughout the 2012 campaign to contend for multiple postseason awards.
Again, he’s a first-round lock with potential to sneak into the top half of the draft if he blows up at the combine (a likely possibility).
David Daniels is a featured columnist at Bleacher Report and a syndicated writer.
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