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Notre Dame’s Tyler Eifert looks like the NFL draft’s top tight end

Ha'Sean Clinton-Dix, Tyler Eifert AP

Notre Dame’s Tyler Eifert appears to be solidifying his status as the top tight end in the NFL draft.

Taking the field Saturday at the Scouting Combine, Eifert ran a 4.60-second 40-yard dash, a very good time that makes him one of the fastest players at his position. Eifert won the Mackey Award as the nation’s top tight end last year, and now he’s showing that he has the measurables to go along with the skills he has already displayed on the field.

Zach Ertz of Stanford, Eifert’s biggest rival to be the first tight end off the board, wasn’t quite as fast as Eifert. But he did run a respectable time, at 4.65 seconds.

The fastest 40 time of the tight end group was turned in by Chris Gragg of Arkansas, who was clocked in 4.44 seconds. Gragg wasn’t considered one of the draft’s elite tight ends before this week, but he’s had an impressive body of work in Indianapolis. Gragg said this week that his old Arkansas quarterback and current Patriots backup Ryan Mallett told him he compares favorably to Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez.

Mallett has told me that we’re kind of the same size but that he thinks I’m a little faster,” Gragg said. “Hopefully I can go out and show that this week.”

If Gragg turned in the most impressive 40, the most disappointing 40 may have been turned in by Gavin Escobar of San Diego State, who couldn’t break 4.8 seconds in either of his two attempts. NFL Network’s Mike Mayock, who had Escobar ranked as his No. 3 tight end heading into the Combine, said Escobar’s 40 time could force scouts to take a second look at his tape and consider whether he was overrated because he was making plays against slower defensive backs in the Mountain West Conference.

But Eifert appears to be rated right where he should be: At the top of the tight end class.

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36 Responses to “Notre Dame’s Tyler Eifert looks like the NFL draft’s top tight end”
  1. skoobyfl says: Feb 23, 2013 2:17 PM

    3rd round pick.

  2. Cereal says: Feb 23, 2013 2:18 PM

    combine I should say

  3. cpo187 says: Feb 23, 2013 2:19 PM

    Can we just say every year, “Notre Dame TE is top TE in the draft.”

    This seems to be the case most years.

  4. jtchernak says: Feb 23, 2013 2:19 PM

    Patriots should pick him and move hernandez to the slot

  5. cappa662 says: Feb 23, 2013 2:21 PM

    Overrated.

  6. benroethlisberger7 says: Feb 23, 2013 2:22 PM

    Bust.

  7. pdmjr says: Feb 23, 2013 2:24 PM

    He will go in the first round, he’s very good

  8. tinbender2000 says: Feb 23, 2013 2:31 PM

    Whoever the Redskins have for a tight end, he’s the best in the league. Just ask Logicalvoice.

  9. green41563 says: Feb 23, 2013 2:31 PM

    Gragg wasn’t considered one of the draft’s elite tight ends before this week, but he’s had an impressive body of work in Indianapolis.
    __________________________________

    “I told you this guy’s a first-round pick!” — R. Jay Soward

  10. harrisbarton says: Feb 23, 2013 2:49 PM

    Let me get this right: Five one-hundredths of a second (over 40 yards) makes one guy significantly faster than the other guy?

  11. ravenscaps48 says: Feb 23, 2013 2:51 PM

    No surprise. Dude is a BEAST!

  12. bigbluebruiser says: Feb 23, 2013 2:59 PM

    Eifert could go as high as No. 19 to the Giants.

  13. cbs1971 says: Feb 23, 2013 3:10 PM

    Chip Kelly is looking for more TE’s, so this guy will NOT get past the Eagles.

  14. shogunassasin30 says: Feb 23, 2013 3:15 PM

    Gotta admit, that’s one position Notre Dame seems to have NFL talent every year and that’s TE. Alabama had their hands full with him. Of course, he’s the only guy ‘Bama had trouble with that game..

  15. mazblast says: Feb 23, 2013 3:30 PM

    OOOOOOHHHHH, he wore the golden helmet, he must be an automatic first ballot HOFer! After all, it’s Known Fact that no Notre Dame TE or any other player has EVER failed to be an NFL superstar!

    For all I know, the guy may be the real deal. I urge NFL teams to not be dazzled by the helmet, Touchdown Jesus, NBC, or the ND hype machine.

  16. chris6523 says: Feb 23, 2013 3:35 PM

    Let me get this right: Five one-hundredths of a second (over 40 yards) makes one guy significantly faster than the other guy?

    __________________________

    No. I believe the phrase used was “slightly faster than”. No significantly.

  17. chris6523 says: Feb 23, 2013 3:38 PM

    Gragg is kind of a tweener. Shockingly similar to DJ Williams who came from Arkansas a couple years ago.

  18. quadya says: Feb 23, 2013 3:53 PM

    would love to see Miami grab him somehow. how high is he expected.to go?

  19. thegreatgabbert says: Feb 23, 2013 4:07 PM

    I think that Vance McDonald could jump Eifert and Ertz by the time the draft rolls around.

  20. kev86 says: Feb 23, 2013 4:19 PM

    Eifert had a good day. Latest he goes is early 2nd.

  21. wilburmills says: Feb 23, 2013 4:49 PM

    Gragg has the fastest 40 time and I think the best long jump and vertical jump of the TE’s and the story is the ND tight end…

  22. kiopta1 says: Feb 23, 2013 4:55 PM

    Eifert and Ertz both looked good but Eifert may push into 1st round with his performance today.

  23. howiehandles says: Feb 23, 2013 5:01 PM

    “Chip Kelly is looking for more TE’s, so this guy will NOT get past the Eagles”

    He’s going in the first round. Enough teams need a TE at the end of the draft, that someone will bite.

  24. fighting69th says: Feb 23, 2013 5:03 PM

    Lol. Notre Dame haters gunna hate, but saying he is overrated? Come on now. Do you watch football?

  25. terpfan76 says: Feb 23, 2013 6:04 PM

    Matt Furstenberg will be a very solid TE in the NFL. I’d love to see the skins snag him late in the draft if possible.

  26. tommynatorii says: Feb 23, 2013 6:50 PM

    He falls down or gets tackled immediately after catches, no thanx.

  27. jibzek says: Feb 23, 2013 7:08 PM

    Eifert bailed out the ND offense so many times through the year. He was a real talent on picking up extremely tough passes. Look at Kyle Rudolph. ND TE’s are studs in the pros.

    We’ve all heard how great ‘athletes’ turn out at TE… JerMichael Finley anyone? You need a guy who can actually play football, not run fast.

  28. paintan8 says: Feb 23, 2013 8:16 PM

    Furstenberg is the sleeper in this group by far. Bigger and faster than Eifert and has great hands. Definitely a player to watch in this group.

  29. alchemistcirca1979 says: Feb 23, 2013 8:19 PM

    He’s looked that way all season….what’s new

  30. valcomm5 says: Feb 23, 2013 8:34 PM

    Gavin Escobar looked like the best tight end to me!

  31. canadianbucsfan says: Feb 23, 2013 8:43 PM

    I see the Falcons taking him after one of the best TE’s in NFL history retires, Gonzalez has been a force in the red zone the last couple years, and considering his age it was really impressive

  32. Giantspunk213 says: Feb 23, 2013 9:09 PM

    The most impressive guy today at the combine was Lane Johnson, he really stood out, i think he ends up a charger.

  33. oldbyrd says: Feb 23, 2013 9:20 PM

    just barely a First Rounder

  34. mhm0428 says: Feb 23, 2013 10:33 PM

    Who cares what your 40 time is, it doesn’t mean you run good routes, or how you catch the ball with no one hitting you. I don’t get how this trumps everything that appears on tape of actual games. The combine warriors include the likes of Mike Mamula, taken ahead of Warren Sapp. Draft the best football player period.

  35. brady2gronktd says: Feb 23, 2013 11:32 PM

    Phil Lutzenkirken out of Auburn will have more NFL success/contributions than most of these guys at TE/HB.

  36. larryboodry says: Feb 24, 2013 1:20 AM

    I fail to see how Escobar’s 4.8 makes him slower than Ertz or Eifert, or even Gragg…If they raced each other, all four would cross the finish line at basically the same time.

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