It’s the Irish under new management as Brian Kelly gets to prove he belongs on the national stage. One of the best minds in football has talent to work with, especially on the offensive side of the ball. Notre Dame offers a good amount of NFL talent and prospects with potential to move up draft boards.
The top prospect from the scoring side is receiver Michael Floyd. Fluid and natural, Floyd effortlessly adjusts to the errant throw and makes the reception away from his frame. He’s an enticing target that uses his body to shield away opponents and effectively blocks off the line of scrimmage when necessary. Floyd shows deceptive speed on the field yet is not a true burner. His return from injury, which forced him to the sidelines part of last season, is long awaited.
Tight end Kyle Rudolph is presently overrated by many in our opinion. He’s a natural pass catcher who gets up in a crowd and makes the difficult reception, battling defenders to come away with the ball. Rudolph extends his hands to make the reception away from his frame then keeps the play in bounds working to pick up positive yardage running after the catch. Rudolph shows marginal quickness and speed in his game and is not an overpowering blocker. He’s more opportunistic than a great prospect. Sources close to the situation have told us Rudolph is planning on entering the draft after this season.
If Rudolph is overrated then receiver Duval Kamara does not get enough credit. Kamara displays terrific eye/hand coordination, nicely adjusts to make the reception and is a well sized target that comes back to the quarterback to make himself an available target. He’s not real fast yet very reliable and a potential 4th/5th receiver at the next level.
Notre Dame has a bevy of running back prospects, starting with Armando Allen.
Allen displays a burst, finds the cutback lanes and quickly gets through them. He runs low to the ground, is very elusive handling the ball and creates yardage. Allen is also a terrific pass catcher that extends to make the reception away from his frame. He needs to improve his consistency and turn his game up a notch before scouts really take him seriously. He also lacks the great breakaway speed, which makes Allen nothing more than a rotational back at the next level.
Robert Hughes shows a lot of strength, good running vision and offers potential as a short yardage runner.
Junior Jonas Gray patiently waits for blocks develop and has a burst of speed. He keeps the play in bounds, picking up yardage off initial contact and shows a lot of quickness in his game. He’s one of the ND prospects who could make a move up boards.
Quarterback Dayne Crist is one to keep an eye on. He has NFL size and arm strength. If he pulls it together Crist could really blossom into a top prospect under coach Kelly.
Chris Stewart is a wide bodied blocker who easily out positions defenders from the action. He shows some quickness and ability pulling across the line of scrimmage but must improve his blocking balance and really learn to finish blocks.
Defensively, junior Darius Fleming tops a thin group. Fleming breaks down well, show explosion up the field and chases trying to get involved in the action. He defeats blocks and also shows good speed to the sidelines. He comes with a large amount of upside potential.
Senior Brian Smith shows a lot of discipline in his game and is relentless in pursuit the action. A strong tackler who brings opponents down on initial contact, he’s best in the box or up the field.
Ethan Johnson is an explosive lineman who plays with pad level and keeps his feet driving up the field. Relatively athletic, Johnson shows strength in his lower body yet lacks natural bulk to this point.
Ian Williams is another that does a terrific job consistently playing with leverage. Very explosive at the point, he’s tough to move off the point and works his hands to protect himself. More of a straight line defender, he really shows little skill in pursuit.
Cornerback Darrin Walls is highly thought of in scouting circles yet a prospect who needs to step up his game and play with more consistency.
Notre Dame Pro-Prospects
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