It’s officially day one of drills at the NFL Combine, but former Notre Dame tight end Tyler Eifert is already impressing scouts around the league with an impressive all around performance thus far.
Eifert, Notre Dame’s all-time leader in receptions for a tight end, was considered by most to be at worst the 2nd best tight end in this year’s draft – battling for the top spot with Stanford’s Zach Ertz. The two battled each other on the field for the last three years and now find themselves in a dead head for being the top tight end selected.
So far Eifert has posted some impressive numbers in drills. The For Wayne native benched 225 lbs 22 times yesterday, ran an officially time 4.68 40 yards dash this morning, recorded a 35.5 inch vertical jump, and registered a 9’11” inch broad jump. Here is how those performances stack up relative to his competition at tight end.
1. 31 – Vance McDonald, Rice
2. 24 – Zach Ertz, Stanford
3. 22 – Tyler Eifert, Notre Dame
40 Yard Dash
1. 4.50 – Chris Gragg, Arkansas
2. 4.62 – Matt Furstenburg, Maryland
3. 4.65 – Jake Stoneburner, Ohio State
4. 4.68 – Tyler Eifert, Notre Dame
9. 4.76 – Zach Ertz, Stanford
1. 10’5″ – Chris Gragg, Arkansas
2. 9’11” – Tyler Eifert, Notre Dame
13. 9’3″ – Zack Ertz, Stanford
1. 37.5 – Chris Gragg, Arkansas
2. 35.5 – Tyler Eifert, Notre Dame
13. 30.5 – Zach Ertz, Stanford
As you can see, Eifert has placed no worse than 4th in any of the drills up to this point and has out performed Ertz in all but the bench press. Many considered Ertz to be the more athletic of the top two tight ends, but the combine is proving that Eifert is just as athletic, if not more so.
If anything, what the combine could be showing is a validation that Eifert put up some very impressive numbers over the last three seasons despite not having the luxury of an elite quarterback getting him the ball like Ertz had the last two seasons before Andrew Luck was taken with the #1 overall pick last year.
In a league in which the tight end is becoming more and more of a weapon, Eifert is surely catching the eyes of GMs and scouts around the league today. If he continues to impress in drills and show the sure hands we have seen him show for three seasons, I think it is a safe bet that Efiert could buck the trend of Notre Dame tight ends getting drafted in the second round by hearing his name called on the first night of the draft. Anthony Fasano, John Carlson, and Kyle Rudolph have all been 2nd rounders in the last seven years. Efiert is putting up the kind of numbers that could see that streak end in a good way.