Notebook: Irish Pro Day
NFL representatives from at least 20 different organizations — including two San Diego Chargers special teams coaches and assistants from the Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers — were in South Bend on Tuesday for Notre Dame's annual Pro Day.
With 11 former Irish football players running through drills, scouts got a chance to see what the group had to offer on the turf inside the Loftus Sports Center
Cody Riggs, who was a notable NFL Combine snub last month, ran an unofficial 4.45 40-yard dash before injuring his hamstring.
He had the fastest time out of anyone at the event, but he didn't have the notable performance of the day. That fell to DaVaris Daniels, who didn't play at Notre Dame last season following an academic suspension.
Daniels had a 39.5-inch vertical jump and clocked an official time of 4.57 in the 40-yard dash. At 6-1 and 210 pounds, those numbers confirmed what many already knew about Daniels — he's athletic and can move.
Blue & Gold Illustrated takes a look at some of the notable players who participated in the Pro Day.
Kyle Brindza, K — If there was one player who helped himself more than anyone on Tuesday, it was Brindza. As one unnamed NFC South scout put it, "Well, we love his kickoff." Brindza drove the ball out the back of the end zone time after time in front of a crowd that gathered with stopwatches out on the LaBar Practice Field.
Leading him through the workout was San Diego Chargers special teams coach Kevin Spencer and assistant special teams coach Craig Aukerman.
Brandon Kornblue — Brindza's kicking coach and the founder of KornblueKicking.com — said that the performance was just what Brindza needed with two NFL assistants on hand.
"I would give it an A or A-minus," Kornblue said. "But that was great with all of them out there."
Brindza said he was 10 of 12 on field goal attempts and bench-pressed 225 pounds 21 times. He talked with both Spencer and Aukerman at the conclusion of his workout and a handful of other scouts.
"At the combine I pretty much met with every single [NFL team] because I was talking with the special teams coordinators," Brindza said. "A lot of them have said I'm draftable. A lot of them said they are going to priority free agent me. But I'm not too worried about that. The biggest thing that I have heard is, 'Are you ready to come in and compete?' And my answer is flat out yes."
Cody Riggs, DB — Riggs needed to have a strong performance on Tuesday after not being invited to the NFL Combine, but a hamstring injury on his second 40-yard dash attempt cut his workout short.
Still, his 4.45 40-yard dash was a fast time and he also had a chance to meet with Baltimore Ravens cornerbacks coach Matt Weiss, who was in town to see him.
"I'm not going to talk about what he said, that's between us, but it was good. He knew his stuff," Riggs said. "I feel like my niche is going to be some combination of nickel, cornerback and safety — basically what I did in college playing all three. Teams have talked to me about all three positions, so versatility is important."
Riggs plans to continue to train and now rehab at EFT Sports Performance in Chicago in preparation for individual workouts.
Cam McDaniel, RB — Like Riggs, McDaniel is looking to find some kind of niche at the next level. He isn't the biggest back, but he's quick, and his numbers showed that on Tuesday.
McDaniel ran a three-cone drill in 6.78 seconds, which would have been the top time for a running back at the 2015 NFL Combine. He said that he talked with the Houston Texans after the run, and that he has been hearing from a few different teams the past few weeks.
"What we're trying to market really is versatility," McDaniel said. "When you look at guys that are a little bit more my size and build — guys like Julian Edelman, Cole Beasley or Danny Woodhead — they have the ability to get matched up on linebackers and really just give headaches. That's what I think I can be really good at."
McDaniel had an unofficial time of 4.56 in the 40-yard dash. He said two scouts time his second 40-yard dash attempt at 4.48.
Ben Koyack, TE — Koyack was the top draft-eligible prospect participating in the testing. He ran unofficial times of 4.72 and 4.76 in the 40-yard dash. One AFC South scout had him at 4.76, which he said was "good enough." There was also a report of a 4.68. Pittsburgh Steelers tight end coach James Daniel led Koyack through drills.
List of NFL teams spotted:
San Diego Chargers (Scout + 2 special teams coaches)
Baltimore Ravens (Scout + cornerbacks coach)
Pittsburgh Steelers (Scout + tight ends coach)
New York Giants
Green Bay Packers
San Francisco 49ers
St. Louis Rams
Tampa Bay Buccaneers