These are the school's prospects for the 2013 NFL Draft by status * - denotes 2014 prospect ** - denotes 2015 prospect.
This page was last updated Feb. 16, 2013. Follow me @walterfootball for updates.
Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame
Height: 6-6. Weight: 251. Projected 40 Time: 4.70. Projected Round (2013): 1-2. 2/9/13: Eifert was one of the few Notre Dame players who held their own against Alabama. He had six receptions for 61 yards. Eifert hauled in 50 passes this year for 685 yards and four touchdowns. The Fighting Irish was terrible at getting the most out of him though, as the team's quarterback play was extremely inconsistent. Eifert made big improvements as a blocker in his senior year.
8/21/12: Eifert performed excellently in 2011, and he was a dangerous weapon for Notre Dame. Despite less than stellar quarterback play, Eifert caught 63 passes for 803 yards and five touchdowns. He had a solid debut with 27 receptions for 352 yards and two touchdowns in 2010.
Eifert has shown flashes as a good blocker, but he needs to improve his effectiveness in that role. Eifert has great hands and makes tough catches down the middle of the field. His receiving ability is NFL-ready right now.
Eifert has the talent to be a first-round pick if he has a big 2012 season.
Manti Te'o, ILB, Notre Dame
Height: 6-2. Weight: 245. Projected 40 Time: 4.70. Projected Round (2012): 1-2. 1/30/13: Te'o's fake girlfriend controversy could end up hurting his draft stock. In speaking with league sources, it is too early to estimate by how much, if at all. Teams are taking a wait-and-see approach until all the facts are made clear and more than one team has highlighted the fact that nobody was hurt by it. It isn't like he was arrested for a drug or alcohol issue.
With a lot of eyes on him, Te'o had an ugly performance in the National Championship Game against Alabama. The Crimson Tide's lethal offensive line and running game made him look bad. He missed a number of tackles, was late diagnosing plays and took some bad angles. It really hurt his draft stock
Te'o made five tackles and an interception against USC in Notre Dame's regular-season finale. His pick was a thing of beauty. Te'o started to his left before checking the back side. He saw a receiver trailing behind him and reversed field to get in the passing lane and make the catch. He collected eight tackles and two interceptions against Michigan, plus forced an interception by hitting Denard Robinson as he threw.
Te'o totaled 12 tackles and two passes broken up to go with a fumble return of eight yards versus Michigan State and power runner Le'Veon Bell. Te'o made a lot of tackles in run defense and was superb against the pass in zone coverage. He was snuffing out short passes throughout the game and doing well to tackle receivers quickly after the reception was made.
Te'o really improved his pass coverage in 2012, which helps his stock as a possible three-down linebacker. However, there are questions whether he has the speed and athleticism to be a good linebacker in pass coverage in the NFL. Te'o is smart and instinctive, but may not be fluid enough for the passing-driven NFL. He amassed 113 tackles, 5.5 tackles for a loss, 1.5 sacks, four passes broken up and seven interceptions.
8/31/12: Te'o has been a solid and consistent performer for Notre Dame. He recorded 128 tackles with 13.5 tackles for a loss and five sacks last season. The junior was a sack away from leading the Irish in sacks and tackles.
Teo registered 133 tackles in 2010, also recording 9.5 tackles for a loss, one sack and one forced fumble. He notched 63 tackles and 5.5 tackles for a loss as a true freshman.
Te'o has the skill set and experience to start immediately in the NFL. He has the size, speed and tackling technique to be a three-down linebacker. The senior has the athletic ability to function on third down and get deep in the middle of the field.
Te'o has nice blitzing ability and closing speed as a pass-rusher. It is clear that he has the instincts for the position. Plus, Te'o is versatile for the next level; he has the bulk to be an inside linebacker in a 3-4 defense and the speed to play middle linebacker in a 4-3. As long as Te'o stays healthy, he should produce another quality season to be a safe first-rounder in the 2013 NFL Draft.
Braxston Cave, C, Notre Dame
Height: 6-3. Weight: 303. Arm: 30 3/8. Hand: 9 1/4. Projected 40 Time: 5.10. Projected Round (2013): 4-6. 2/9/13: Cave struggled against Purdue defensive tackle Kawann Short early this season and was beaten for a sack. Cave had problems throughout the game going against Purdue's interior defensive linemen and that outing hurts his stock. He played better against Michigan and Michigan State, but didn't impress versus Stanford.
Cave had a good outing against USC to close out the regular season. He didn't play well in the National Championship against Alabama and followed that up by struggling mightily at the Senior Bowl. Cave was getting beat by bull rushes and speed rushes. He is going to need work before being ready to play in the NFL.
8/22/12: Braxston Cave broke into the starting lineup in 2010. He has a nice combination of strength and mobility. Cave needs to stay healthy and improve to help his draft stock. One thing that helps him is that he has some long-snapping experience.
Cierre Wood, RB, Notre Dame
Height: 6-0. Weight: 215. Projected 40 Time: 4.58. Projected Round (2013): 5-6. 2/16/13: Wood was suspended for the first two games of the season. Given that the opponents were Navy and Purdue, the Fighitng Irish got by without him. His suspension was for the massively broad 'violation of team rules'.
Wood ran for 742 yards and four touchdowns in 2012 while averaging 6.5 yards per carry. He only had four receptions this year, so his third-down ability is a big question mark for NFL evaluators.
8/16/12: Wood averaged five yards per carry, totalling 1,102 yards and nine touchdowns on the ground as a junior in 2011. He is an experienced, well-rounded back who could push his stock into the second day with a big 2012 season.
Zeke Motta, S, Notre Dame
Height: 6-2. Weight: 215. Projected 40 Time: 4.70. Projected Round (2013): 5-7. 1/31/13: Motta was a solid player for the Fighting Irish. The year didn't end well as he had an ugly game against Alabama in the National Championship Game and had a mixed performance at the East-West Shrine.
Motta is best in run support near the line of scrimmage. The senior had 77 tackles with three passes broken up, zero forced fumbles and zero interceptions this year. He had 40 tackles, an interception and a forced fumble as a junior. Motta broke into the starting lineup as a sophomore and recorded 50 tackles. He had one interception and two passes broken up, too.
Motta lacks ball skills and play-making ability. He looks like a potential backup and special teams contributor in the NFL.
Theo Riddick, RB, Notre Dame
Height: 5-11. Weight: 200. Projected 40 Time: 4.55. Projected Round (2013): 5-7. 2/16/13: Riddick averaged 4.8 yards per carry as a senior to collect 917 yards and five touchdowns. He also contributed well in the passing game with 36 receptions for 370 yards and a touchdown. Riddick is an undersized back who looks like a solid rotational back in the NFL who can contribute in the passing game.
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