SOUTH BEND, Ind. — The NFL Scouting Combine concludes Monday with the on-field workouts for the defensive backs, wrapping up a week in Indianapolis filled with Notre Dame football participants.
Ten former Fighting Irish players—wide receiver Chris Brown, defensive lineman Sheldon Day, wide receiver Will Fuller, center Nick Martin, defensive lineman Romeo Okwara, running back C.J. Prosise, cornerback KeiVarae Russell, safety Elijah Shumate, linebacker Jaylon Smith and tackle Ronnie Stanley—participated in this year’s combine. Notre Dame was the second-most represented university in the country, trailing only Ohio State with 14.
Let’s break down the results from Indy.
Former Irish All-American linebacker Jaylon Smith, and his health, was one of the (if not the) biggest storylines at the combine.
Coming off the knee injury—a torn ACL and LCL, Smith confirmed to reporters in Indianapolis—he suffered in the Fiesta Bowl, Smith’s medical checks, interviews and measurements were the crux of his trip to Lucas Oil Stadium.
Much of the medical concern surrounding Smith centers on possible nerve damage. Reporters asked Smith about his health on Friday.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter and Jeff Legwold reported on Saturday that multiple teams decided to fail Smith on his physical and that sources with three teams at the combine said they don’t intend to draft Smith.
Mike Mayock and Ian Rapoport offered what they’ve heard regarding Smith as well.
.@MikeMayock talked to 5 different teams about Notre Dame LB Jaylon Smith, and every team's told him "it's bad" on the knee.— CollegeFootball 24/7 (@NFL_CFB) February 28, 2016
Difficult day for #NotreDame LB Jaylon Smith, who had his medicals. Ankle & knee nerve issues, teams believe he's out for 2016 -- at least— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) February 26, 2016
Combing through the medical chatter emanating from various reports and sources doesn't present a clear picture. The bottom line, though, is the possible nerve damage—with the emphasis on that unconfirmed possibility—clouds Smith’s draft outlook and NFL career.
If and when he's healthy, Smith, the 2015 Butkus Award winner as the nation’s top linebacker, is undeniably a rare talent.
Despite a bout with the flu, former Irish All-American wide receiver Will Fuller still blazed through the 40-yard dash in 4.32 seconds—the top time among wideouts.
Was battling a fever throughout the week, just want to give a big shoutout to the Exos and CAA family for all the support.It was appreciated— Will Fuller V (@Will_Fuller7) February 27, 2016
NFL Network main camera angle doesn't showcase speed of these guys. Here's Will Fuller's 4.33 from a better angle https://t.co/r3t7AmXTYE— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) February 27, 2016
Fuller’s speed, while wholly unsurprising, still helps his case to be an early-round draft pick. The speedster checked in at 6’0” and 186 pounds—right around how he was listed by Notre Dame in 2015. Fuller’s hands have been questioned—Fuller himself said during the season he needed to improve as a pass-catcher. His hands were measured at 8 ¼ inches.
On Will Fuller’s inconsistent hands, consider of the 43 WRs at the combine, none measured smaller than his 8¼ inches. And 39 were 9” and up.— Irish Illustrated (@PeteSampson_) February 25, 2016
Fuller will have the opportunity to catch more passes and flash his hands at Notre Dame’s Pro Day on March 31 ahead of April's draft.
Former Irish left tackle and projected first-round pick Ronnie Stanley was measured at 6’6” and 312 pounds in Indianapolis.
He logged a 5.20 40-yard dash and clocked in at 8.03 seconds in the three-cone drill. Stanley and Ole Miss product Laremy Tunsil are projected to be two of the top tackles selected.
|Ronnie Stanley||Laremy Tunsil|
|Weight||312 pounds||310 pounds|
|40-Yard Dash||5.20 seconds||N/A|
|Three-Cone Drill||8.03 seconds||N/A|
|20-Yard Shuttle||4.90 seconds||N/A|
Former Irish defensive tackle Sheldon Day was measured at 6’0” and 286 pounds. He registered a 5.07 in the 40-yard dash, tallied 21 reps on the bench press and had a vertical jump of 30 inches.
Defensive end Romeo Okwara flashed his athleticism in Indy with a 4.90 time in the 40, 23 reps on the bench press and a 33-inch vertical leap.
Running back C.J. Prosise measured in at 6’0” and 220 pounds, as expected, and he ran a 4.48 in the 40-yard dash.
Offensive lineman Nick Martin (6’4” and 299 pounds) ran a 5.22 in the 40, a 7.57 in the three-cone drill and a 4.72 in the 20-yard shuttle to go along with 28 reps on the bench.
Wide receiver Chris Brown, who didn’t end up running the 40-yard dash at the combine, weighed in at 194 pounds—a 14-pound climb since the Senior Bowl, per Blue & Gold Illustrated’s Andrew Owens.
Safety Elijah Shumate (6’0” and 216 pounds) reached 18 reps on the bench press, while cornerback KeiVarae Russell (5’11” and 192 pounds) notched 17 reps. Russell said Saturday he played the entire 2015 season with a stress fracture that dated back to fall camp, per Owens.
All quotes were obtained firsthand and all stats courtesy of CFBStats.com unless otherwise noted.
Mike Monaco is the lead Notre Dame writer for Bleacher Report. Follow @MikeMonaco_ on Twitter.