If anyone had any doubts about Tyler Eifert's stock as a first round selection in the 2013 NFL draft, he certainly addressed them Saturday. He hit the combine running and was quick to make an impression on scouts.
Coming into the draft combine, an argument could be made that Eifert and Stanford's Zach Ertz were 1a and 1b when it came to tight ends in this year's draft. Ertz and Eifert have similar builds and bring similar skill sets to the table.
The beauty of the combine is that we get to see the two battle it out side by side in a whole battery of athletic tests. After watching both perform, it's difficult to say that they are still even. Eifert wowed scouts.
First and foremost, he performed well in the most publicized event in the combine—the 40-yard dash. At 6'6", 251 lbs, his 4.68 time was really impressive. When compared to Ertz's 4.76, it was a huge step in proving that he's the more athletic option of the two.
He didn't just stop there either. He showed a great deal of burst and explosion by impressing scouts in the broad and vertical jump. As Eric Hansen of the South Bend Tribune points out, he was second among all tight ends in both categories.
Eric Hansen @EHansenNDI
#NotreDame TE Tyler Eifert's vertical jump 35.5 and broad jump 11-9 both 2nd among pos. group. ND C Cave went 25.5 in vj and 9-2 in b jump.2/23/2013, 7:57:52 PM
Eiftert's production actually took a dip in his final season at Notre Dame. He saw a decline in receptions (from 63 to 50), yards (from 803 to 685) and touchdowns (from five to four). However, with his athleticism on full display, he is showing that the decline in production was not a sign that he can't be elite in the NFL.
The former Notre Dame tight end is the prototypical tight end that has become a staple of successful offenses across the league. He's a big body that can create mismatches with his size and speed.
Ultimately, game tape does the majority of the work in determining a prospects stock. Eifert earned his reputation as a first-round talent with his play at Notre Dame. His performance at the combine has simply confirmed what we already knew; he's going to make a team's offensive coordinator very happy with his athleticism and versatility.