Normally, Notre Dame's pro day is a bigger deal. At least it has been in recent memory.
After three straight years of having first round picks (Michael Floyd and Harrison Smith in 2012, Tyler Eifert in 2013, and Zack Martin in 2014) and having a total of fourteen draft picks in the last two years, the crop of draft eligible players working out from the Irish is not nearly as touted in 2015. Of course, this would be a lot different if someone like Ronnie Stanley decided to leave school early so no Notre Dame fans shouldn't be too disappointed to wait for 2016 to be a bounce back year for the Irish in terms of draft picks.
There were still plenty of NFL scouts in attendance though to see eleven former Notre Dame players work out. That list includes guys who played for other programs last year (Jake Golic, Andrew Hendrix, and Alex Welch), guys who didn't play football at all last year (DaVaris Daniels and Kendall Moore), a guy who hasn't played football in a few years (Ethan Johnson), and players who finished their eligibility with the Irish (Ben Koyack, Cody Riggs, Kyle Brindza, Cam McDaniel, and Justin Utupo).
There doesn't appear to be a day one or two pick in that bunch, but Koyack, Riggs, Daniels, and Brindza are all in the mix to be drafted with Koyack likely going the highest of the bunch.
You can view the complete results of all that took part in the testing here, but here's some highlights that stood out (all stats courtesy of Notre Dame):
- Cam McDaniel's three-cone time of 6.78 was outstanding. It's a time that NFL scouts look at in terms of short area quickness for a running back and should help him out quite a bit. That and his 35 inch vertical are more important to his stock than his 40 time of 4.59.
- Ben Koyack ran a solid 40 at 4.72 and did not drop a pass during his workout.
- With this year's Draft being so deep at receiver and DaVaris Daniels not having played football in over a year, he needed to improve on what he did at the combine and did just that. He lived up to the freakish athlete reputation he had while at Notre Dame with a 4.57 40 to go with a 39.5 inch vertical, and 11'1" broad jump. Just makes everyone think what could have been if he managed to keep his academics in order.
- There's a tweet included below about Kendall Moore's testing numbers and there are only slight changes to it with him running a 4.63 40 rather than the 4.57 according to that tweet. Either way, it was probably as good as he was hoping in terms of testing.
- Cody Riggs got hurt, but before he did, ran an impressive 4.45 40 and had solid numbers in the other tests he took part in.
- None of the three players who played for other programs last year (Hendrix, Golic, and Welch) had numbers posted so I'm assuming they already did their testing at their previous schools. Either way, it's a positive thing that Notre Dame allowed them to come back and do drills for scouts that likely weren't at their other school's pro day. All three have Notre Dame degrees.
- Ethan Johnson, who appears to be trying to give the NFL one last shot, did all of the testing. None of his numbers pop off the page when you look at them and he's obviously not eligible to be drafted, but the exposure to all of the teams hopefully got him back on the radar to get signed for this summer.
Here's some additional buzz from the day:
Reports said Cody Riggs looked great running the 40, not surprising given his track background, but tweaked his hammy and couldn't continue the day.
#NotreDame CB Cody Riggs tweaked what appeared to be his right hamstring on his 2nd time through on the 40 & just left pro day early.— Adam Shear (@AdamS_FOX28) March 31, 2015
Hopefully his tape at Notre Dame and Florida will be enough to get him drafted because he wasn't invited to participate at the combine.
We know at least one team had a coach in town looking at Kyle Brindza.
Just spotted San Diego Chargers assistant Craig Aukerman here at Notre Dame's Pro Day. He's here for Kyle Brindza.— Andrew Ivins (@BGI_aivins) March 31, 2015
In case anyone was wondering, Brindza is still on the quest to be the strongest kicker that ever lived.
Amazing Pro Day! 21 bench and 31 vert. Almost all KO out of back with handful 10+ yards out of the… https://t.co/yp7tFIHZuA— Kyle C. Brindza (@kylebrindza) March 31, 2015
Because of the lack of high level prospects, there weren't nearly the number of teams in attendance like most years.
Less than half of the 32 teams Twenty teams were in attendance for this one based on Nick Ironside's most recent tweet.
Cam McDaniel posted an impressive 3-cone drill time that would have ranked as the best at combine.
DaVaris Daniels showed what he is capable of as an athlete with a ridiculous vertical jump.
Davaris Daniels puts up an impressive 39.5 inch vertical jump at @NDPRODAY https://t.co/du4mmcqpfM— Notre Dame Football (@NDFootball) March 31, 2015
And showed off his hops again with this great catch. (The accuracy of the throw courtesy of Andrew Hendrix.)
Kendall Moore reportedly had a good day, if these times are correct. It might be good enough to get him into an NFL camp this summer.
Kendall Moore LB Final Numbers from Notre Dame NFL Pro Day 6-1 237 24 reps, 4.57, 32.5 vert, 9-8 broad 6.9 3 cone #greatday— david schuman (@nucfootball) March 31, 2015
After the testing part was done, Moore and Daniels spoke with the media and responded to questions. Both seemed to be responding to what happened with their suspensions in a positive way.
Kendall Moore spoke to the media after pro day and said ND was fair in how he was treated during last season's academic investigation.— Irish Illustrated (@PeteSampson_) March 31, 2015
Lastly, a sighting of another member of the 'Frozen Five'. You know how pretty much everyone has counted out Ishaq Williams out from returning to Notre Dame and playing this fall? He was in attendance watching today. So who knows what will happen.