On Thursday Notre Dame football held it’s annual Pro Day for it’s prospective NFL players.
Former players such as; Sheldon Day, Jaylon Smith, Ronnie Stanley, Will Fuller, C.J. Prosise, Elijah Shumate, Nick Martin, Jarret Grace, KeiVarae Russell and Amir Carlisle all participated in the event. Even former Irish quarterback, Everett Golson, was on hand as he opted to have his pro day at Notre Dame rather than at Florida State.
NFL Network analyst and former ND Football color man, Mike Mayock, was on hand and was really impressed by Ronnie Stanley and Nick Martin. It’s no secret by now that Stanley is most likely going to be a top 10 pick. In recent mock drafts I’ve seen him go as high as #3 and as low #10. Mayock also had an interesting take and one that I have not heard yet. He sees Martin being a second round pick and having a lengthy career in the NFL. At the end of last football season most projections had Martin going in the middle rounds.
KeiVarae Russell also had a huge day, even though it was cut short due to a tweaked hamstring. Russell ran a 4.4 40-yard dash and also performed well on his vertical and broad jumps. Mayock said that he could see Russell sneaking his way into the third round.
Jaylon Smith did not particpate in any of the on field drills because he is still working his way back from that horrific knee injury in the Fiesta Bowl. Smith take part in the bench press where he put up 225 lbs. 24 times. Smith’s draft status is largely unknown because of his knee. At the NFL Combine in early March, three NFL teams said they wouldn’t touch him because he apparently has some nerve damage in his knee. Smith is due to be reexamined in the middle of April before the draft.
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Will Fuller ran the fastest time of anyone who worked out. Fuller ran a 4.32, which is about the same of what he ran at the combine. He really impressed teams at the combine because of that blazing speed and his big play ability. Last year there were times where Fuller dropped some passes. Some teams probably want to see a little more consistency there, but nonetheless Fuller seems to have played his way into the first round. He probably won’t be the first wide receiver taken, but might be the second or third off the board.
Overall, this draft class could be one of the best ones Notre Dame has produced in quite some time. Depending on Smith’s situation, Mayock sees the Irish with 5 guys being selected in the first 75 picks. This draft class will be a heckuva lot different than last year’s where we only saw one Irish player (Ben Koyack) taken in the ENTIRE draft.