MDD Staff Writer: Chad Pullen
Notre Dame has a couple players that will be in high demand in the upcoming April draft, I checked in on them this past week to see how those players are progressing, as well as tried to find some hidden talent at Maryland.
Kenny Tate would certainly have been a target, but he looks to be on the shelf for the foreseeable future due to injury.
Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame
- Perfect size for a WR, could play this week honestly
- First pass his way goes right through his hands, Mike Mayock mentions it’s the first drop he has seen from Michael. He did drop another late, high throw
- Nice catch near the sideline, knows where he is on the field
- Catches screen, tucks and moves upfield immediately, big gain. No hesitation or dancing, catch and go.
- Runs good routes, on a double move he loses corner and picks up a flag on the safety
- Another double move, this time the corner sticks but Floyd wins the jump ball in the end zone, goes up to make the catch with his hands, highest point
- Blocks his man 10 yards downfield and then out of bounds on a run play. Great play.
- Biggest WOW play of the night, another run, Floyd blocking his own man, comes off his block to block someone else coming in to make the tackle. A Wide Receiver that comes off blocks like a lineman. This should be in every single Floyd highlight reel clip come draft day. I’m placing him as the second best WR coming into the draft after Blackmon.
Cierre Wood, RB, Notre Dame
- Unsure if he will declare or not, but based off this game he’s ready.
- Runs hard and with purpose, good size which makes him difficult to bring down alone
- Patient, well taught back that reads blocks and lets them develop
- Quick first step, plants and goes
- Used a little bit in the passing game, showed some good hands
- Has attitude, the good kind, sticks up for teammates, jumped right up after a big hit like it was nothing
- Used the spin move to escape in the hole a couple times, once is enough, three times in a game is a bit much, won’t work in the NFL
- Does need work in pass protection, no surprise for a young back, but he is slightly better than his teammate James Gray
- Laid an absolute decleater on Hughes in garbage time, great block, clean and legal but devastating.
- Did have a goalline carry where just as he crossed the goalline he was hit and fumbled. He did cross, and got the TD, but gotta be real careful down there
James Gray, RB, Notre Dame
- Tough near the goalline, found way in twice
- Doesn’t go down on first contact, fights for extra yards
- Secures the ball well
- Executed great play on screen, blocked initially then came off perfectly timed for the catch and run
- Got beat a couple times in pass protection
- He and Wood alternate drives, have very similar styles, they both will see similar time in the NFL with all the two back systems nowadays
Manti Te’O, MLB, Notre Dame
- Nursing an ankle injury currently, he wasn’t as explosive as I have seen from him before
- Is a sure tackler, but like Floyd dropping a couple passes, he missed a tackle or two
- Sideline to sideline guy, follows the ball EVERYWHERE.
- Diagnoses plays very well, reads and moves on snap
Quintin McCree, WR, Maryland
- Speedy receiver with seemingly good hands
- Caught bubble screen and went across the field untouched
- Great catch late in the game with his palms up on a lobbed throw. Tough catch he made look easy, over the middle of the field too
- Saw him blocking downfield, not as impressive as Floyd, but still good effort on run plays
- A little thin, hopefully he can gain some girth
- Did bobble a low throw on the sideline, trying to keep feet in and bend low to make the catch, couldn’t hold quick enough, caught the ball but fell out of bounds
Trenton Hughes, CB, Maryland
- This is a project CB, but I loved watching him more than anyone in this game. Matched up with Floyd all over the field, left and right sides, all night
- Stride for stride on first go route, no catch
- Another go route, half a mili second behind Floyd, but still in great position to break the play up with a great jam and good hand fighting
- Did get cooked on the first double move he saw from Floyd
- On the second double move he was better prepared, simply lost out on a jump ball by a great WR
- No real work in run support, it was clear Floyd was his job for the night
- Got blown up by Wood, needs to have that head on a swivel
- Nothing spectacular or flashy, but he matched up with a top 2-3 college receiver all night and lived to tell about it, that says something to me.