2013 NFL Draft Prospects: Notre Dame

These are the school’s prospects for the 2013 NFL Draft by status * – denotes 2014 prospect ** – denotes 2015 prospect.

This page was last updated April 24, 2013. Follow me @walterfootball for updates.

  1. Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame
    Height: 6-6. Weight: 250. Arm: 33.18. Hand: 9.18.
    40 Time: 4.68.
    Projected Round (2013): 1.

    4/24/13: Eifert’s draft projection has continued to rise over these final few weeks, and some think he could go in the top half of the first round in the early teens. Eifert looks like a lock as a first-round pick.

    Eifert was the most impressive top tight end prospect at the Combine, and he has taken firm control as the No. 1-ranked tight end in the 2013 NFL Draft class. Eifert ran well in the 40, was solid in the bench (22 reps) and did well in the field work. He definitely helped his bid to be a first-round pick.

    Eifert was one of the few Fighting Irish players who held his own against Alabama. He had six receptions for 61 yards. Eifert hauled in 50 passes for 685 yards and four touchdowns in 2012. Notre Dame 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 during 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.

  2. Manti Te’o, ILB, Notre Dame
    Height: 6-1. Weight: 241. Arm: 32.48.
    40 Time: 4.82.
    Projected Round (2012): 1-2.

    4/24/13: Some scouts have told WalterFootball.com that their teams will pass on Te’o because they don’t like the media circus that comes with him. The fake girlfriend controversy doesn’t sound like it has hurt Te’o’s draft stock outside of the excess attention it has brought. However, his slow 40 time at the Combine is a bigger concern. Te’o blamed the stress of the event for his poor workout, although he did better in the field drills.

    Te’o ran faster at his pro day – around 4.7 seconds – and was said to look good in the field drills. He could go in the back portion of the first round.

    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. Te’o 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 at the next level. 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.

  3. 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): 5-7.

    4/24/13: For the NFL, Cave is a mauler at the line of scrimmage but isn’t quick or agile. He struggled against Purdue speedy defensive tackle Kawann Short early in the 2012 and was beaten for a sack. Cave had problems throughout the game going against Purdue’s interior defensive linemen.

    Cave played better against Michigan and Michigan State, but didn’t impress versus Stanford. He had a good outing against USC to close out the regular season. He didn’t play well in the National Championship against Alabama to close out his career.

    Cave has had a rough time since then. He struggling mightily at the Senior Bowl – including with Kawann Short again. Cave was beaten by bull rushes and speed rushes in Mobile. He is going to need work before being ready to play in the NFL. Cave looked slow and stiff in the field drills at the Combine, too.

    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.

  4. Zeke Motta, S, Notre Dame
    Height: 6-2. Weight: 215.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.83.
    Projected Round (2013): 5-7.

    4/24/13: Motta was a solid player for the Fighting Irish in 2012. The year didn’t end well as he had an ugly game against Alabama in the National Championship Game.

    The postseason hasn’t really been any better. Motta had a mixed performance at the East-West Shrine and ran the slowest 40 time of any safety at the Combine. For the NFL, he looks like a backup safety and a special teams contributor. Motta lacks ball skills and play-making ability. He 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 collected 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.

  5. Cierre Wood, RB, Notre Dame
    Height: 5-11. Weight: 213. Hand: 8.58.
    40 Time: 4.56.
    Projected Round (2013): 5-7.

    4/24/13: 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. Wood’s suspension was for the massively broad ‘violation of team rules’. He was solid, but unspectacular, at the Combine.

    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.

  6. Theo Riddick, RB, Notre Dame
    Height: 5-10. Weight: 201. Hand: 8.68.
    40 Time: 4.68.
    Projected Round (2013): 6-FA.

    4/24/13: 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. He didn’t impress at the Combine.

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