Reviewing the Notre Dame Players' Workouts at the NFL Combine

"Bet you didn't think I was this fast did you?" (Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE)

The NFL combine wrapped up yesterday from Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, giving us a slightly clearer picture on how some Notre Dame players are viewed by the League.

In total, 6 Irish players participated in the events---with running back Jonas Gray still rehabbing from his knee injury and unable to do any drills that involved using his legs.

Who's stock is rising?

Who's stock took a tumble?

Let's find out after the jump.

RB Jonas Gray

5'10"

223 pounds

Bench Press: 20 reps (T-12 out of 21 RB)

Gray reported to the combine 7 pounds lighter but still nursing his ACL injury from the Boston College game. He was unable to to do any drills and hopes to run at Notre Dame's Pro Day.

It's going to be an uphill battle for Gray even if he can run in South Bend in 6 weeks. It's not a running back friendly league when it comes to drafting and Gray was a one-year wonder (albeit an enormous one at that) now with an injury concern.

Still, Gray offers a great combination of size and speed and if he can run the 40-yard dash under 4.6 seconds and looks healthy in other drills, he could move up into a late-round selection.

Free agent pickup is most likely.

OT Taylor Dever

6'5"

298 pounds

40-Yard Dash: 5.46 seconds (40 out of 47 OL)

Bench Press: 18 reps (T-44 out of 48 OL)

Vertical Jump: 28.0 inches (T-20 out of 46 OL)

Broad Jump: 100.0 inches (T-25 out of 42 OL)

3-Cone Drill: 7.49 seconds (T-4 out of 43 OL)

20-Yard Shuttle: 4.90 seconds (T-31 out of 43 OL)

Dever showed up 3 pounds lighter and had a mixed bag of results at the combine.

His bench press was awful, and his 20-yard shuttle was sub-par. Luckily, Dever put in one of the best 3-cone drills out of any linemen---so that helps his cause.

Unfortunately, Dever just doesn't have the size or resume to really warrant a draft pick at this point. We've seen players much longer, heavier, and athletic outperform him at the combine and Dever didn't have a great career to begin with.

Undrafted and free agent signing appears to be his ceiling.

WR Michael Floyd

6'3"

220 pounds

40-Yard Dash: 4.47 seconds (13 out of 40 WR)

Bench Press: 16 reps (T-17 out of 39 WR)

Vertical Jump: 36.5 inches (T-15 out of 39 WR)

Broad Jump: 122.0 inches (T-14 out of 36 WR)

Floyd showed up in Indianapolis 3 pounds lighter, and he did himself a lot of favors with his performance.

He was above average in three of his other drills, but it was his 40-time that shocked the world. 13th overall for a receiver isn't mind-blowing, but he was the heaviest receiver to run a sub-4.5 time. Only Miami's Streeter (219) and Georgia Tech's Hill (215) were faster and near Floyd's weight.

Any way you slice it, running a 4.47 at 6'3" 220 is really impressive---especially for a player with the career Floyd has had. Of the 15 receivers ahead of Floyd in the 40-yard dash, their average weight was just under 193 pounds.

Depending on what other receivers do at their Pro Days (particularly South Carolina's Ashlon Jeffrey), Floyd has likely moved into the 2nd spot on the receiver board.

He was probably a fringe 1st round pick before the combine but it's hard to imagine Floyd falling past the top 20 now.

LB Darius Fleming

6'2"

245 pounds

40-Yard Dash: 4.72 seconds (16 out of 29 LB)

Bench Press: 27 reps (T-6 out of 29 LB)

Vertical Jump: 33.5 inches (T-18 out of 31 LB)

3-Cone Drill: 7.03 seconds (6 out of 20 LB)

20-Yard Shuttle: 4.28 seconds (T-7 out of 21 LB)

Fleming showed up a full 10 pounds lighter and had a decent showing overall.

His 40-time could have been better, but he struggled with a leg cramp and didn't run at 100%. Still, it's not a bad time and he'll have the opportunity to run again at his Pro Day.

Fleming was getting a lot of praise from scouts during drill work which should help boost his stock. Unfortunately, he might be stuck in no man's land where he's too small to be an effective defensive end in the NFL, but his skill set too much in that mold to play inside.

With another good showing at his Pro Day, Fleming might be a late round pick.

DB Robert Blanton

6'1"

208 pounds

Bench Press: 12 reps (T-22 out of 28 DB)

40-Yard Dash: 4.70 seconds (30 out of 34 DB)

Vertical Jump: 34.0 inches (T-18 out of 31 DB)

Broad Jump: 116.0 inches (T-22 out of 31 DB)

3-Cone Drill: 6.71 seconds (T-5 out of 24 DB)

20-Yard Shuttle: 3.97 seconds (T-3 out of 25 DB)

60-Yard Shuttle: 11.28 seconds (T-7 out of 16 DB)

Blanton showed up 8 pounds heavier and did pretty well at the combine. His 40-time is disappointing but we knew going in that he wasn't going to put up a great time.

Also, Blanton shined in the other speed drills and was getting very positive reviews during his workout at Lucas Oil Stadium. There was a lot of talk that he might have to move to safety in the NFL, or at the very least be a specialized nickel guy, but Blanton likely improved his stock slightly.

With teams needing more nickel and special teams mainstays, Blanton should get picked up in the late rounds.

S Harrison Smith

6'2"

213 pounds

Bench Press: 19 reps (T-7 out of 18 S)

40-Yard Dash: 4.57 seconds (7 out of 28 S)

Vertical Jump: 34.0 inches (T-10 out of 28 S)

Broad Jump: 122.0 inches (T-13 out of 28 S)

3-Cone Drill: 6.63 seconds (1 out of 26 S)

20-Yard Shuttle: 4.12 seconds (2 out of 27 S)

Smith came to the combine right around his playing weight and had a very big performance yesterday.

His 40-time wasn't as lightning fast as some believed it would be, but he'd did plenty well there. Smith went ahead and owned all the other drills as well, showing off his great mixture of speed, quickness, and athleticism. His 3-cone time was 7th best in the entire combine.

With stats like this at the combine, Smith probably doesn't have to do much at his Pro Day besides maybe try and improve his 40-time. It will be tough to sneak into the 1st round, but this should solidify Harrison as a 2nd round pick at the very least.

Other Notable Performances...

  • Undersized Michigan center David Molk topped all offensive linemen with an incredible 41 reps on the bench press.
  • Oklahoma offensive tackle Donald Stephenson was impressive taking home the top spot at his position in the 40-yard dash, vertical jump, and broad jump---all while being 6'6" 312 pounds.
  • USC offensive tackle Matt Kalil (6'7" 306 pounds) solidified himself as the top draftee at his position with a second place finish in both the 40-yard dash (4.99 seconds) and 3-cone drill.
  • Clemson tight end Dwayne Allen---the top tight end and Tyler Eifert's competition had he came out early---had a decent combine finishing 2nd in the bench press, 5th in the 3-cone drill, 5th in the 2-yard shuttle, while running the 8th out of 10th best 40-yard dash at 4.89 seconds.
  • You've probably heard by now that Robert Griffin III ran a blazing 4.41 4-yard dash, but Andrew Luck wouldn't let RG3 completely steal the spotlight with a 4.67 40-yard dash of his own. Interestingly, Oregon quarterback Darron Thomas only clocked a 4.80 in the 40---although he weighed in at 220 which was a lot higher than I thought he would.
  • Miami's Lamar Miller took home the fastest time in the 40-yard dash among running backs with 4.40 flat, while 7 more players at this position clocked in under 4.5 as well.
  • Miami's Benjamin Travis, Stanford's Chris Owusu, and Georgia Tech's Stephen Hill all tied for the lead at the receiver position with 4.36 40-yard dash runs.
  • Memphis defensive tackle Dontari Poe stunned scouts while running a 4.98 40-yard dash at 6'4" 346 pounds. Poe also benched more than anyone at the combine, putting up 44 reps.
  • Alabama linebacker Dont'a Hightower ran an impressive 4.68 in the 40-yard dash, while being a beefy 6'2" 265 pounds.
  • Two surprises at linebacker: Boston College's Luke Kuechly running a 4.58(!!!) in the 40 yard dash, and placing in the top 5 at every drill except bench press. Arizona State's Vontaze Burfict flopped in his training running a 5.09 (dead last among linebackers) in the 40-yard dash, while he was second to last in the vertical jump and dead last in the broad jump.
  • Central Florida's Josh Robinson took home the fastest 40-yard dash at the combine, clocking in at a speedy 4.33 seconds.
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