Floyd, Rudolph Considering NFL

Brian Kelly hasn’t addressed the subject of Michael Floyd and Kyle Rudolph’s potential early departure for the NFL this season, but on Monday he told reporters that both juniors have in fact asked the NFL for an evaluation on their draft prospects.  The first year head coach, however, said that he is doing what he can to keep the duo in South Bend for another season.

Both Michael Floyd and Kyle Rudolph have asked the NFL for a draft evaluation according to head coach Brian Kelly. (Photo - Icon SMI)

“We’re heavily recruiting them.  We’re recruiting them for Notre Dame,” Kelly said when asked about the possibility of Floyd and Rudolph leaving early before admitting that both players have requested evaluations from the NFL.  “We’ve already begun the early evaluation process for them.  They’ve asked, both of them, which is different than last year.  I don’t know that either one of those players (Jimmy Clausen and Golden Tate) had asked to be even be evaluated early last year.  They were gonna go where both of these young men have asked to be evaluated by the NFL  Evaluation Committee.  We’ve begun that process and we should be able to get some information on where they are projected to go (in the draft) in the next few weeks.”

Underclassmen can ask the NFL for an evaluation to see where they are projected to be drafted.  The committee, made up of former NFL talent evaluators then provides the player with an estimate as to where they’ll be selected.

The fact that both Floyd and Rudolph asked for evaluations is actually a good sign.  As soon as both started as true freshmen for the Irish in 2008, everyone knew this would be a distinct possibility.  Since both asked to be evaluated, however, it suggests that neither has made up their minds about their futures.

Both Floyd and Rudolph are ready for the NFL physically, but injury concerns by NFL teams could affect their draft status.  Floyd has suffered an injury requiring him to miss multiple games in each of his three seasons with Notre Dame.  Of a possible 37 games, Floyd has missed 9 due to various injuries. When he has played, he has been one of the most productive receivers in the country though and is currently tied with  Jeff Samardzija’s for the school record in touchdown receptions with 26.

Floyd will also have to compete with a lot of talented receivers for the top draft spots. Fellow juniors AJ Green, Julio Jones, and Jonathan Baldwin could all potentially declare for the Draft as well.

Rudolph will face similar injury concerns after missing the last 6 games of the 2010 season.  Like Floyd, he has also missed 9 games in the past 3 seasons due to injury.  The difference for Rudolph is that is has the prototypical build for a tight in the NFL and will have far less competition at tight end than Floyd will at wide receiver.

Notre Dame would likely have an easier time replacing Rudolph than Floyd.  Tyler Efiert’s emergence over the last few weeks combined with the presence of freshman Alex Welch and the arrival of highly touted Ben Koyack in recruiting would help lessen the blow if Rudolph were to leave for the NFL.  At wide receiver, Notre Dame just doesn’t have another wide receiver like Floyd on the roster for 2011 season.

Of course, there is also the matter of the pending labor negotiations between the NFL and the Players Union.  Reports have been circulating for months, if not longer, about the potential for a lockout in 2011 and it remains to be seen how the uncertainty regarding the labor agreement will affect the decision making of underclassmen this season.

At a minimum, it’s nice to see Kelly openly state that he is recruiting both for Notre Dame at this point.   Hopefully for Notre Dame’s sake, he as successful here as he’s been on the recruiting trail lately.

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  1. SteelfanRob,

    I agree with your analysis. I can’t wait to see the competition this fall and I am also pulling for DC as he is loyal and a solid leader. I think that ND has a shot of doing some nice things in the bowl game both offensively and defensively. I am also looking forward to seeing Theo Riddick in the slot position and the development of Toma and Eifert when Kelly decides to go with a empty backfield. I am sad that AA is unable to play. I would have liked to see him play his last game. It will be interesting to see if they take some shots down field, which was one of my criticisms of Reese.

  2. jack,

    I’ll give TR his dues (after all, we’re 3-0 with him as our starter), but I tend to agree with you that DC is a better all-around signal caller. I feel terrible for DC and am rooting for him big time. I just love his work ethic and the way he came out recently and squashed all the transfer rumor nonsense. Love that breed of loyalty to ND.

    I’ve been harping on D forever, jack. And, yes, I’ve invoked the Stillers as an example of how a great D can cover up for a mediocre O. For the record: Please note that I’m responding to an observation made by jack. If you have a problem with this thread and the invocation of the Steelers blame jack.

    Now, as the Steelers-Jets game from yesterday showed, however, even a D that allows only 1 TD and 13 total points can’t totally make up for crap on O and “Special Teams”. So, yes, jack, we need a rugged, athletic, smart D in the bowl game and into next season (and beyond). But we also need our O to cont. to develop. I’m sure both of us wouldn’t mind seeing some ND domination on both sides of the ball and in all three phases of the game. What’s wrong with BOTH shutting out an opponent but also putting 50 on them?!

    Am I wrong, jack?

    NOTE: I’m not saying ND is anywhere near that level of dominance and may well never be there again. But that should be the goal.

  3. Just heard from a source close to the situation that Chuck Martin was responsible for the change in the defense against Army. BK told Diaco to run the defense that Martin wanted to run. Martin was Kelly’s first choice for DC, but ND didn’t go for that because he didn’t have D-1 experience. Might we see some staff changes if Martin doesn’t leave for the Ball State or Miami job?

  4. Chan,

    Quiet before the storm, bro!

    The Hurricanes are upon us. Like many here have said, a lot rides on which Miami team shows up. If it’s the one that manhandled Pitt at Heinz Field, watch out! That team was fast and mean on both sides of the ball. However, if it’s the team the played against FSU, UVa., VT, and USF, then ND should cruise.

    Of course, the same thing can be said about ND, Chan. Which Irish team will show up? The team that started 1-3 and then lost to Navy and Tulsa or the team that ended the season winning 3 in a row, beating Utah and USC.

    We’ll find out soon enough which team is playing for future momentum and which team wishes it stayed at home. Both have a lot to play for so there should be no excuses if one or the other doesn’t show up. I’m going on record right now and saying BK better have his team ready to play. Excuses need not apply!

    Happy Holidays!

    GO IRISH!!!

    1. SteelfanRob,

      It is crucial that the ND defense shows up. If that unit shows up like the end of the season than ND will be fine. If the defense that showed up against Navy shows up I don’t think Reese is capable to win a track meet with Miami. He will throw to many picks and get ND in trouble.

      1. I also believe that if we had Crist and the entire starting line up for the last three games ND would have destroyed all three teams. It is crucial that ND’s defense shows up next year. You are a Steelers fan and know the value of a good defense and how it can save a bad day on offense.

  5. Hey Guys, all we have to do is win 10 games and we’ll be BCS eligible. Our troublesome games will be Michigan State, Stanford and the Big 10 referees.

    Remember next year will be coach Kellys 2nd year and he will have more than 1 qb and an out of shape team to work with.

  6. I would just like to add that after everything that went on this year, Coach Kelly and his staff found a way to win a few tough games. The offense will only get better no-matter who the starter is and lets face it the defense is scary. We will compete for a BCS bwl next year, the funny thing is that its diffrent in years past when I was praying for a good season I knew down deep it was not real. But now if you look at the landscape of college football the Irish are in a position to be a real problem for teams for years to come. I firmy believe in order to win you need to have two elements 1. A great coach,2. great players. The Irish are getting the players and have the coach. ND football is huge in my life, but being as objective as I possibly can Im telling you folks the Irish are back to stay when the 2011 season begins it does not matter who we play . GO IRISH!!!!

  7. ND had a scrimmage friday for the young guys, here are the players Kelly said impressed him the most.Louis Nix, Kelly said he moved really well.Kendell Moore a mlb from NC was all over the field according to Kelly, he was a 3 start mlb who is big and a big hitter, should compete for a mlb spot next to Manti next year.Daniel Smith a 6-4 reciever from South Bend impressed Kelly he might be our match up guy if Floyd leaves I watched his film and he Like Floyd goes up and gets the ball very well with great body control.He is not as big an physical as Floyd, but who is Floyd is a monster.The player he praised the most was Cam Roberson a HB from California who was recruited by many teams as a FB.He is 6-1 215-220 Kelly said he was impressed with his body of work as he took most of the snaps in the scrimmage about 35 and looked good.He could be the work horse of the future I think he will be our Robert Hughs of the future.He also added that the practice for the young guys went very well with very good tempo, he added that Hendrix looked good as well.Good signs for ND’s future Kelly is bringing a competitve atmosphere to the team and is working it all the way down, these players will develop into better football players because of it.I can’t wait to see our lady play Miami it’s just still to far away, then the season is over, a little depressing.GO IRISH!!!

  8. Floyd will eventually graduate because his mother will make him. He’s academically quite smart.
    Rudolph needs a another full season. This is a guess but health will be an issue.

    ND needs both players next year so the youngsters don’t have to play too early and themselves get injured.
    Both players need ND to have a more high profile and fully positive season with a ranking and possible BCS berth.

    This is just due diligence at this point.

  9. Joe, I may be a little too optimistic, but I think with so many returning players and a defense that surprised every one this year.

    Well at least I see us in a BCS bowl game next year. Let’s just hope.

    1. we can’t have legitimate nc expectations until year 3.

      i expect to beat the u by 2 scores and win at least 10 games next year. but, we need our qbs to develop quickly. even with kelly’s new found running game, this team cannot be great without good qb play. if crist or reese or hendrix or massa or golson don’t explode next year, we could be looking at an 8-9 win season.

      i still think crist is the guy but it would a lot of fun to watch goslon. his highlight reel is spectacular.

      1. You don’t know which U team is going to show, I watch them destroy Pitt and we would be hard pressed to beat that team. They are very fast so we may struggle to score on them.

      2. i think we will be fine on offense as long as tommy doesn’t have one of his 3-4 turnover games. i think the magic number for him is 30, we need to keep him under 30 passing attempts otherwise he gets exposed, see tulsa and usc.

    2. not that optomistic – maybe caught what has happened the last few times when things looked good then fell apart. Still not full convidence in the defense 0 it has played well the last few games but not yet set down a really top offense yet. The offense still very inconsistent and not yet dominated a top defense. IN order to be a legitimate BCS team all phases have to show up against top teams – not done yet. QB still a big issue – Crist just never looked comfortable – Rees still a freshman – the rest unknown. Golson not ideal size. We will ahve to jsut wait and see. Recruiting stil key – Suggins the RB – the prize here along with Williams – ONe step at a time here. Let’s go for 9-11 wins here for next year and if we go beyond that great. Two years should really tell how this is turning out

    3. I think that is more than a little too optomistic – too many questions still – take it as it comes – next year top 20 maybe top 15 – then look at BCS and maybe NC

  10. nd forever, thanks for the reply, What I was refering to when I said bad luck was #1 In the Michigan State game, the clock ran down and there should have been a penalty, but the somebody was not watching the clock.In the Michigan game Crist was injured and Ree and Montana both had turnovers in which both turnovers resulted in scores, and of course the Tulsa game was a win with a field goal. I agree that maybe it’s not all bad luck.

    I really feel that coach Kelly is going to be one of Notre Dame’s greatest coaches. Time will tell.

    1. I agree Kelly has the charisma of an elite coach, I think he got the dose of reality that he needed to be more conservative in certain cercumstances.He seems to prepare the players very well in almost every situation.The way he carries himself draw recruits to him.He has the potential to be a great coach.

  11. I can imagine either going pro this year. Rudolph is going to be great at the next level but he will not go as high after the amount of time he has missed. He needs to prove out his durability to pros before they take him with a high pick. Floyd is also someone who will be great at the next level but he would be best suited waiting a year. He fell victim to the growth pains at QB. Personally, I would only take AJ Green ahead of him. However, analysts did not see enough of him on the highlight reel to project him in the first round. What I love about Floyd is the way he plays every down and the extra things that he brings to the offense. He was one of the best blocking WR’s in the country. If they do leave early, I still think that we are well stocked at both positions. TE is obvious. WR is mpore stocked than people think. TJ and Theo are studs. Toma is turning into a great option. Jackson, Collingsworth, Walker, Gallup and Goodman add plenty of solid depth. With Daniels coming in, I think we are in good shape. With that said, I still think Floyd and Rudolph are coming back.

  12. I think the Michigan State game was bad luck a guy was there for the fake, but he fell down leaving the reciever wide open.The Tulsa game was just a bad call.They win those 2 they are 9-3 and ranked, but that’s college football.I think Kelly learned from the Tulsa game and will be a better coach for it.There is a time and place to take a risk that was not one of them.What Michigan State did was a risk, but a smart one they knew that there kicker had about a 50/50 shot at making that long field goal so they ran a fake kick.Kelly will never bee conservative, but he will learn when he can take chances.I Floyd and Rudolph come back and get consistency at the Qb position they could be very good next year.Some people may be sick of hearing about next year, but when was the last time ND had a winning record and possibly 19 out of 22 starters back? I’m optimistic about next year because of the product I see developing not because og hype or a few talented players, this could be a great “team” with great players.

  13. I understand that next year’s NFL strike is 99%. If that’s correct then Floyd and Rudolph will be back in uniform for Notre Dame.

    We should be in the top 10 next year. Coach Kelly lost 3 games this year with just bad luck.(Michigan, Michigan State and Tulsa.)

      1. state and tulsa had no luck involved. the losses came b/c of 2 bad coaching decisions. no way top 10. every yr ND fans like u say the next yr is the yr for BCS and top 10, and they end up 6-6. lets be realistic thats not going to happen

      2. I said before that I think the Michigan State loss was some bad luck, a player was ther to cover the play, but fell down and left the reciever wide open if he doesn’t fall down they don’t score the TD.The Tulsa game was a bad coaching decision wich kelly I promise learned from.I’m not saying top ten, but top 25 next year is realistic.If Floyd, Rudolph, and Nd gets a consistant QB play then top ten could be possible.

    1. Of course, most of our losses were the result of bad luck (except for when we got creamed by Stanford and Navy) but our wins? All of those were earned, no “luck” involved. Come on, dude!

      As for being in the Top 10 next year, while it’s not out of the realm of possibility, I think top 20 is more realistic.

  14. Too bad I was really hoping that he’d commit as well. Oh well… We still have some time to pick up some great talent! A victory over Miami can only help us.

  15. Christian French is going to Oregon.To bad I was hoping this kid would be in an Irish uniform.I hope Ishaq Williams committs to the Irish he is supposed to give his verbal during the army all american game.I beleive that is also when Brennen Scarlett is going to declare where he is going.I think Brennen will be a great DE and Ishaq could be that edge rushing OLB that this defense needs.

  16. Sad to see an ex coach like Urban leave the coaching ranks. I love the Holtz legacy. The guy has no motives other than his health in that decision. A true ND fan would see this like a move Ara made many years back. God bless Urban and his family.

    Spicy Irish: take it easy on the conspiracy theories. You are starting to scare us. What if Urban takes over the World? with Tebow as his VP?

    1. Look at it from this point of view. The Broncos selected Tebow in the 1st round. A QB selected in the 1st round means 1) they have plans for that QB to be the long-term QB 2) Money is invested into that QB. If the Broncos were smart they would go after the coach who their long-term QB performed best under.

      It makes sense. That family life is all crap. I’m sure the family would love their dad to work for a paycheck that amounts to 4-5 million a year.

  17. Perhaps this is why Urban Meyer didn’t come back to Notre Dame. He was going to retire all along. I hope he enjoys his time off with his family and then comes back as an ESPN game announcer, preferably replacing Bob Davie . . . . . .

    1. Something is fishy with this Urban Meyer situation. On Monday the Broncos job had officially opened up. Hours later Urban Meyer resigns at Florida. I’m connecting the dots. A Meyer/Tebow NFL marriage is in the works

    2. while at utah he said he wanted to be the head coach at nd for five years and then leave…looks like he lived up to it, although florida for six.

      can you blame the guy? if i can retire at age 46 i will, especially if my job was as demanding and stressful. herbstreit was pretty poignant in saying that coaches back in the day didn’t really have this option, but now that they make 4 million a year they can.


      Urban the Legend is finally gone…It’s hilarious how much it proved that Tebow was 99% of that team. Get out now Urban before it’s too late…good move!!!

      Have fun Chris Martin….maybe another new school is coming!!! Should have stayed IRISH!

  18. Did everybody here forget about a guy named Theo Riddick? I think you’re going to be pleasantly surprised next year.

  19. Claussen and Tate made a huge mistake in leaving early and my guess is that Charlie advised them to do so… (With the best intentions)

    Tate (a converted RB) was awesome but was/is a terrible route runner who would have benefited from 1 more yr and a new coaching staff.

    Floyd is more NFL ready then Tate because he is a more polished Route Runner and a more Natural Reciever. If he runs a 4.6 that will be plenty and he will do fine as a Quality NFL Receiver if he stays healthy.

    1 more yr of ND education and Competition on the College level is always Positive and always the right decision. If by some unfortunate situation someone gets a career ending injury and can never play in the NFL then that is there path and they can become a college coach instead….

  20. how many 1st round draft picks did we have in the last decade? hint, you can count them on two fingers…it’s not ‘charisma’ that keeps kids around, it’s a derth top talent.

    i was just checking out draft classes, if anyone is interested the link below has every draft archived.

    usc and florida have each had 19 first rounders since 95′, we have had 4. oklahoma had 4 first rounders last year alone!

    it’s crazy comparing our classes of the last ten years to the 90s. it’s not even close. i was too young to remember much of the early 90s (i was 10 when i went to my first game 93′ bc), but we had 4 first rounders in 93, then followed it up with 3 in 94. if you look to usc’s classes at their pinnacle in the mid 2000s, florida’s over the past 4 years, oklahoma and texas they look identical to our run in the early 90s.

    this is probably a reflection of both recruiting and coaching, but this sh*t needs to change if we are going to compete. we need the swag back and i think kelly is getting us there.


  21. What about hanging around long enough to graduate? Is it a given that anyone who projects first three rounds is going, going gone? How does Stanford, for example, manage to hang on to so many seniors? Until Clausen and Tate last year I thought we had some of the same charisma. (Darius Walker being the real head scratcher.)

  22. both of them are aware of the dangers of another year in college. not only did kyle tear his hamstring, but he has seen his good friend and roommate blow-out both of his knees.

    they will be successful, but i will be interested to see what kind of speed floyd shows at the combine. with his 6 3, 225 frame, a lack of top-end speed won’t hurt his prospects but i bet he is high 4.5s, maybe low 4.6s guy. as an aside, i have seen floyd’s interviews, he is not exactly going to be a rhodes scholar if he stays on and graduates.

    if floyd departs, it would be really nice to start grooming davaris daniels early, any chance he will enroll early?

  23. Amazing. It’s no longer important or necessary to make it through a college career. Both guys have had extensive injuries in their careers at Notre Dame and that’s no problem for the NFL. If they have speed and size, no one cares whether they’ve shown they can play year after year.

    College football is the NFL’s minor league system. If Floyd and Rudolph make it, I will be happy for them. They’ll make a lot of money right away. But the system is screwed up in so many ways.

    1. “Both guys have had extensive injuries in their careers at Notre Dame and that’s no problem for the NFL.”

      We don’t really know the answer to that question yet, as the NFL hasn’t evaluated them yet.

  24. I hope Rudolph and Floyd take into account the way the Irish finished the season off. There are a lot of players comming back and 2 years into the system should make it very tempting to them. However if they do decide to go pro I wish them all the best, I will be rootig for them. Once Irish always Irish!!!

  25. Your right on about the depth of the tight end position over the w/r spot. As much as I would like to see Rudolph come back, it wouldn’t be devestating. Replacing Floyd on the other hand isn’t as easy, the w/r position is pretty deep this year (draft wise) and I think that Floyd would be the 3rd or 4th receiver taken. I hope that and the NFL labor dispute help him to stay in South Bend.

    1. Exactly! Floyd’s only viable replacement currently on the roster (at least in regards to size & experience) is Kumara who’s graduating.

      I think the general consensus is that even though he has filled in and played admirably at times throughout this season, he hasn’t played consistently enough throughout his career to where ND would grant him a 5th year and extend his scholarship. I have a feeling it’s been spoken for by one of the incoming recruits.

      While we have some great WRs on the roster and some more potentially great ones coming in, none have really impressed me with their size. Not that size is everything, but we’ve got a lot of quick, nimble receivers and I feel to be well rounded, we need to maintain a “go up and grab it, power” receiver in the lineup too.

      That being said, I doubt there’s anything I can come up with that Kelly doesn’t already have a contingency for since, you know…he’s the man…and WE ARE ND! 😉

    2. Dont call me a naysayer and I am a huge fan of mr. michael Floyd. But, I think there is a real good chance he isnt the “3rd or 4th” receiver taken. This years receiver class is pretty darn deep. AJ Green from UGA will probably be the 1st. Julio Jones from Bama, Broyles from OK, Tolliver from LSU, Owusu from Stanford, Baldwin from Pitt, Dell from Sparty, Pettis from Boise, Rodgers from Oregon State. I’d be real surprised is Green, Jones and broyles aren’t the first three. Mr. Floyd might be the 4th but with his numbers this year falling a bit he might slip behind 3 or 4 of these others.

      If Michael stays he gets another year of becoming a “complete receiver,” he avoids the possible lock out fiasco, gets his degree and likely has a better draft position due to a lesser WR class next year.

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