SOUTH BEND – Tyler Eifert caught 140 passes during his Notre Dame career, many of which were spectacular. The Bishop Dwenger High School graduate left the Fighting Irish record book for tight ends in shambles this past January, yet he still felt the need to take part in the Notre Dame Pro Day on Tuesday.
“I was advised to do this,” Eifert said after the workout in front of 27 NFL teams at the Loftus Sports Center. “I never even thought that I wouldn't (come here and) run routes. It's something that I work on, so I had no problem going out there and running around a little bit.”
Eifert didn't take part in every drill, as his former high school and college teammate John Goodman did. But Eifert did do a number of the blocking and pass-catching stations, and his past two-plus months of training in Florida showed on his sculpted frame.
Eifert is viewed as a certain first-round selection in the NFL Draft next month. Teams such as the Chicago Bears and New York Giants are mentioned most often as likely destinations.
As if Eifert's 1,840 yards gained during his four years with the Fighting Irish weren't enough of a resume, he blew the scouts away in last month's NFL Combine in Indianapolis.
“I don't know how I looked on the outside, but I was nervous,” Eifert said of the combine. “That's a stressful period. You've got a lot on the line there.”
Because of his tremendous performance at the combine, he didn't have to run the 40-yard dash or perform any shuttle runs on Tuesday.
“I could focus on more football-specific drills,” Eifert said of his recent training regimen. “It's what I've grown up doing, instead of all of this sprinting and getting ready for a track meet.”
On Tuesday, Eifert measured at 6-foot-5½ and weighed in at 256 pounds. He's hoping that his size, athleticism, accomplishments at Notre Dame and combine performance lead to one thing.
“I want to be the first tight end taken,” Eifert said. “I'm doing everything that I can to be the first tight end taken. That's what I hope to be.”
The wait is on for Goodman
Goodman was one of just three former Fighting Irish players (Chris Salvi and Roby Toma also) who took part in every drill, and he did so in hopes of catching some scout's eye and getting an invite to an NFL training camp.
“Definitely speed and route running,” Goodman said of his agenda for the scouts to see on Tuesday. “I didn't have any drops, and that's good. But I bobbled one ball, and that's all I can think about right now.”
Goodman isn't likely to hear his name called through the draft, but he is a viable candidate to get a phone call shortly thereafter for an opportunity to at least try out for a squad.
Having to wait through the draft won't be a problem for the wide receiver.
“I'm used to waiting,” Goodman said. “It's a long time to get to this day. It was a long time coming. A lot of work was put in. Hopefully I represented well.”
He ran a 4.59-second 40-yard dash and bench-pressed 225 pounds 13 times.
He is hopeful that some NFL teams want to meet with him leading up to the draft. In the meantime, he and Eifert plan on remaining at Notre Dame and continuing their training at the school.