New York , NY (UHND) — While teammate Justin Tuck fell farther than most believed he would be drafted on Day 1 of the Draft, Jerome Collins got drafted much higher than many felt he would at season’s end.
Collins played various positions at Notre Dame after being recruited by Bob Davie as a wide receiver out of high school. Collins started at wide receiver before being moved around with stops at linebacker and defensive before settling in at tight end.
Despite collecting only six catches for 67 yards with a long of 21 yards in his entire Notre Dame career, Collins moved up draft boards with a strong showing at the Combine. Collins with 40 times ranging between 4.65 and 4.72.
Collins was part of an excellent crop of wide receivers that came to Notre Dame in his class. Collins was joined by Lorezno Crawford, Ronnie Rodamer, and Jovan Witherspoon, and Omar Jenkins.
Many analysts felt that the crop of wide receivers would help transform Notre Dame’s struggling offenses under Davie . Of those receivers only Jenkins made an impact for Notre Dame at receiver. Crawford was kicked off the team in the sexual assault case a few years back, Rodamer had injury problems throughout his career, and Witherspoon never played a down for the Irish.
While the combine helped Collins move up the draft boards it hurt linebacker Mike Goolsby. Goolsby was considered a Day 2 draft choice early on, but some poor numbers in the speed and agility drills at the Combine sent Goolsby down and off of many teams’ draft boards. Goolsby should find his way onto a roster in the next few days as an undrafted free agent.
Other Domers who went undrafted include Dan Stevenson, Dwight Ellick, Derek Curry, Ryan Grant, Carlyle Holiday, Greg Pauly, Bill Palmer, Jared Clark, Quentin Burrell, and Kyle Budinscak.
Of that group Grant, Ellick, and Holiday should be picked up as free agents. Holiday has a lot of untapped raw talent after moving from quarterback to wide receiver. Arnaz Battle successfully made the switch and has been solid for the 49ers. Some team will sign Holiday and see what he has during training camp. Grant put up some good numbers in the combine and should get picked up for at least training camp and could find his way onto a practice squad. Ellick has a ton of speed which should get him a look from a team or two alone.
Of the 255 picks in this year’s NFL Draft, only 2 were spent on Notre Dame players, continuing the trend of poor drafts since Lou Holtz left. Justin Tuck had the chance to be a fairly high pick, but he fell down draft boards on day 1.
A very early analysis of next year’s draft eligible players has some promise, but most will need big years to help reverse Notre Dame’s Day 1 dismal returns. Rhema McKnight, Maurice Stovall, Anthony Fasano, and Brandon Hoyte look to be the top names for next year. Fasano especially could make some noise with the success hes had to this point combined with a year under Charlie Weis.