We are on the cusp of the 2020 NFL Draft, and this will be an unusual year to say the least. Regardless of the manner of the draft, we are still expecting a handful of former Notre Dame Fighting Irish players to be drafted — and another handful to become UDFAs.
We’re going to take a quick look at both handfuls over the next whatever hours, as we get ready for the big weekend ahead.
Troy Pride Jr. — CORNERBACK
Pride was an incredible high school athlete that was equally dangerous on both the football field and the track. As a 4-Star prospect in South Carolina, Pride chose the Irish over a long list of ACC and SEC schools. As a freshman, Pride found the field as a cornerback and on special teams on a bad Notre Dame team that was searching for young players to step up.
After a quiet sophomore year, Pride became a full-time starter in his junior and senior seasons. His four year career saw him rack up 122 tackles, 22 passes defended, and 4 interceptions. The best of Pride was perhaps during the second half of the 2018 season where he exclusively played as a field cornerback.
How does he fit in the NFL?
Pride’s speed is his greatest weapon and his greatest strength. While his 4.4 40 yard dash time is good, it didn’t come close to what was expected considering the track times under his belt. No doubt he is a special teams contributor right from the beginning, and can find a role as a nickel in most systems. He will have to develop better ball skills to start to contend as a starter on the outside.
Where will he go?
Even though his 4.4 time was “disappointing” given the expectations, Pride’s speed and athleticism are still at an elite level and NFL teams will be eager to get that on their roster as soon as possible. Most mocks have him going in the 3rd round, and it’s hard to argue with those projections.
PROJECTION: 3rd Round
Pride was always an enigma to me while at Notre Dame. Troy had problems against the back shoulder fade (as many corners do) and sometimes played slower than his athleticism actually offered. In the right role, Pride could be a dangerous cover man in the NFL, but will most likely make his mark early on special teams in coverage — and possibly as a returner.