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NFL Draft 2013: College Players to Watch in Stanford vs. Notre Dame

We love the NFL draft, so why not pay attention to it all season? Teams we’ve scouted this year: Boise State, Michigan State, Clemson, Auburn, Michigan, Alabama, Florida, Texas A&M, Georgia, Missouri, Washington, LSU, California, Ohio State, Arkansas, South Carolina, West Virginia and Texas. If you missed the other posts on the subject: the first week; week two and week three. We skipped week four but here was last week. This week the focus is on just one game as we head toward our first in-season 2013 NFL mock draft.

IRISH:

Stanford vs. Notre Dame, 3:30, NBC:

Tyler Eifert, senior tight end, 6-foot-6, 230 pounds: I’ve got him as the best tight end in the draft and a late 1st/early 2nd round pick. Expect Eifert to be in high demand because there isn’t anything he doesn’t do well. Strong blocker, great hands, terrific speed, and I’d say he’s better than Kyle Rudolph, his predecessor who was a 2nd round pick in 2011 (43rd overall). This is a great matchup to watch Eifert as he goes against Stanford’s outstanding LB corps. Fast-forward to the :54 mark of this video to watch how good his hands are.

Manti Te’o, senior LB, 6-foot-2, 255-pounds: Sideline-to-sideline linebacker who has improved greatly so far in his senior year. At this juncture, there’s no question he’s a first round pick. The only question is how high he goes. Can he crack the top 10? Is he more likely in the 20s? Some of that will be determined by what juniors leave school early. Remember when some commenters on this site had a discussion about Vontaze Burfict vs. Te’o? Good times.

CARDINAL:

Chase Thomas, senior LB, 6-foot-4, 250 pounds: Terrific against the run, excellent on the blitz, and probably a 2nd round pick right now who could play his way into the first round. Dominated the Irish last year: three tackles for a loss, two sacks, a forced fumble and five total tackles.

Shane Skov, senior LB, 6-foot-3, 240 pounds: In the same boat as Thomas in nearly every category, but I don’t think he’s quite as effective on the blitz. While I think Thomas could fit into a 4-3 defense, Skov appears better suited for a 3-4. I’d venture a guess he’s a late 2nd/early 3rd round candidate. Will be curious to see what happens if he gets locked up with Eifert.

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