Notre Dame football: Predicting Chris Finke’s NFL Draft

Chris Finke(Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
Chris Finke(Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /

Former Notre Dame football walk-on wide receiver Chris Finke is preparing for next month’s NFL Draft, we predict what team will select him.

Former Notre Dame wide receiver and special teams standout Chris Finke is the definition of defying odds. Finke was a former walk-on at Notre Dame who played his way into a scholarship with the Fighting Irish football team.

After being an integral part of the Notre Dame football team for the past few years, Finke is eyeing the upcoming NFL Draft as he looks to continue his dream of playing professional football in the National Football League.

Finke received an invite to the NFL Combine where he would participate in the 40-yard dash, bench press, and vertical jump events. At the combine, Finke would look to make a name for himself in an effort to improve his draft stock.

The official measurements for Chris Finke were a height of 5’9″ and a weight of 186-pounds with 9″ hands and 29″ long arms. All of those measurements are on the smaller side for a wide receiver in the National Football League.

Many scouts expected Finke to run a fast 40-yard dash time, with some suggesting he could produce a time in the 4.3-second range. However, Finke would fall short of that mark by running a time of 4.57 seconds. There is speculation that Finke may have been nursing a hamstring injury that he sustained in the Reese’s Senior Bowl Game.

Unfortunately, he would fail to impress in the bench press event by doing only seven reps of 225-pounds. He would also record a jump of 40″ in the vertical jump event. None of the results were good enough to send Finke’s draft stock skyrocketing.

That said, the player that Finke is most compared to is that of former Clemson wide receiver Hunter Renfrow who was drafted by the Oakland (now Las Vegas) Raiders in the fifth round of last year’s draft.

By comparison, Renfrow is 5’10” and 185-pounds and ran an official time of 4.59 seconds in the 2019 NFL Combine. Both players project very similarly having both played wide receiver as well as handling return duties for their respective college teams. So the somewhat lackluster performance at the combine is not terribly concerning for Finke, given Renfrow’s success in the NFL.

Most draft experts have Chris Finke being selected in the later rounds of the draft of being signed as an undrafted free agent. It is my prediction that Finke is drafted by the New England Patriots with one of the three sixth-round draft picks that they possess.

Stop me if you have heard this before, Patriots head coach finds an obscure talent at wide receiver that everyone else deemed “too small” or “not athletic enough” and turns them into an integral part of the New England roster.

One needs to look no further than what Belichick did with late-round picks or undrafted free agents such as Danny Amendola, Danny Woodhead, Chris Hogan, and Julian Edelman. While not all of these players were initially drafted or signed by the Patriots, most were seen as castoffs that were not big enough to play wide receiver (or hybrid wide receiver/running back in Woodhead’s case) in the NFL.

Belichick knows how to get the most out of players who are willing to play the “Patriot Way”. Finke fits the mold of that type of player perfectly. He is a consummate teammate who is willing to do whatever it takes for the betterment of the team. He has the intangibles and drive to do whatever is necessary.

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It isn’t difficult to see Chris Finke beginning as a depth piece at wide receiver and special teams contributor as he learns the system. But much like when he was a walk-on at Notre Dame, Finke will likely end up being a solid player for whichever NFL team ultimately selects him.