According to ESPN, Notre Dame's standout juniors Kyle Rudolph and Michael Floyd have asked to be evaluated by the NFL Draft Advisory Board.
The board's function is to help a player determine where they would fit in to the upcoming NFL Draft before a player must declare himself before forgoing the remainder of their college eligibility or signing with an agent.
Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly confirmed that his All-American tight end and star wideout have made this first step for early entry into the NFL, but noted how this year's pair have set a more cautious course than last years dynamic duo.
"I guess that's different from last year," Kelly said, "because I don't know that either of those players [quarterback Jimmy Clausen and wide receiver Golden Tate] had asked to be evaluated. They both were going to go [no matter what]. Both of these young men have asked to be evaluated."
Evaluation does not necessarily mean that the Irish should count both Rudolph and Floyd as departed. There are several factors to consider, such as NFL labor issues, Rudolph's injury or the benefit of another year in a developing pass-happy offense, that may keep one or both in school.
Higher position in the draft equals higher payment, and having a standout senior season for what could be a very prominent team couldn't hurt either player.