Tyler Eifert Impressing at the NFL Combine

Notre Dame tight end Tyler Eifert speaks at a press conference during the 2013 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. (Photo – Brian Spurlock / USA TODAY Sports)

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.

Tyler Eifert is solidifying his position as the top tight end in the 2013 NFL Draft with his performance at the Combine this weekend. (Photo – Matt Cashore / USPresswire)

Bench Press

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

Broad Jump

1. 10’5″ – Chris Gragg, Arkansas
2. 9’11” – Tyler Eifert, Notre Dame
13. 9’3″ – Zack Ertz, Stanford

Vertical Jump

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.

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  1. Not sure you can lump Palmer in with those other three. Not because he’s still a srettar Sanchez is still a srettar and not because he has led his team to the playoffs Sanchez has played in four playoff games, two more than Palmer but because he’s at least been decent when he played. The guy just threw for over 4,000 yards. Prior to the KVO hit in the ’05 playoffs, Palmer looked like he was ready to join the top QBs. But one shredded knee later and the guy hasn’t been the same. I say cut Palmer some slack, he’s nowhere near as terrible as Leinart, Sanchez and Booty. And I think Barkley will suck too.

  2. I’ll tell you right now I wouldn’t mind of the Stillers traded back in the first and took him late in the first round. Heath Miller’s replacement would be in place for the next decade.

    1. If any ND player goes to the Steelers I will be crushed. They projecting Teo to the Steelers. Ugggggg. Sorry Steelfan but not a Steelers fan.

      1. No problem, Jack. What counts on here is we’re both die-hard Irish fans!

        Just hope these ND kids do well whereever they land. Why?

        1) For the sake of the ND kids themselves.

        2) For the sake of the program. The better ND players do in the pros the better the profile for ND football when it comes to recruiting top talent.

    2. Have relatives that are steeler fans, and hate ND, just because i like them. It would be funny in a way, to have them cheering for te’o after ripping him for the last month. But i now hate the Steelers because they like them. Sorry steelfan it not your fault. Go Irish

      1. There are a few ND AND Stillers fans here.

        BTW: St. Pat, you might want to tell you’re family that the Rooneys, as devout Catholics, are huge ND (Our Lady) supporters, and fans in some cases fans of the football team. Just Ask Rocky Bleir what the Rooneys thought of him and ND.

        Stillers fans can be very obnoxious, no doubt. But don’t most college football fans say the same thing about ND fans? Perhaps in both cases some of the critricism of Stillers and ND fans come from both football teams being among the most successful in their sports.

        Regardless, we’re all ND fans here. Except, of course, the loser trolls.

        Go Irish!

      2. Sorry,

        Meant to say “your” family. Make this mistake of confusinh “you’re” and “your” too often. My apologies, folks.

  3. Give this kid a qb that can get him the ball, and in my humble opinion he will be a top 10 pick. Oh how good in the red zone..

  4. As a Bears fan I would prefer a LT or a C in the first round. The last two tackles the Bears have drafted in the first round have not worked out for them. That can be a reason why they go for Eifert or Chris Gragg in the 1st round. I was hearing the Bears were going to try and steal Chris Gragg in the 2nd day if he was available. Gragg’s stock is going to rise dramatically. Gregg is easily going to be a 2nd rounder now.

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