Notre Dame had three players participate down in Mobile, Alabama. Wide receiver Rhema McKnight, offensive tackle Ryan Harris and defensive end Victor Abiamiri all got to strut their stuff to interested teams. The number could have been more. Quarterback Brady Quinn opted out with a minor knee injury. He's neck and neck with LSU signal caller JaMarcus Russell on who'll be the top quarterback selected in April's draft.
Jeff Samardzija also didn't make the trip but that's because he was getting a head start on another career path. The wide receiver decided last week to pursue a career in professional baseball with the Chicago Cubs instead of going into the NFL Draft. Samardzija is a hard-throwing right-hand pitcher and was chosen by the Cubs in the last baseball draft. As for the three Notre Dame players that were in Mobile, Irish Eyes caught up with NFLDraftCountdown.com's Scott Wright for his insight. Wright was down at the Senior Bowl all week and here's what he had to say about the Irish contingent.
***How did Victor Abiamiri stack up against the other linemen? Where do you project his going in the draft? "I thought Abiamiri had a very nice week and showed great athleticism and quickness. What really impressed me is how he looks the part. When I first saw him walking through the lobby, he really stood out and then he looked spectacular at the weigh-in. Physically, he reminded me of Kamerion Wimbley from a year ago and he's just a specimen. As far as the draft goes, I think he has a shot at round one but there are just so many good defensive ends in this class. He could easily get pushed down to round two or three. He's absolutely a day one pick, though."
***How did Rhema McKnight perform during the week? "I'm not nearly as high on him as some are but he had a nice week. He's not going to be a deep threat but when it comes to those short and crossing routes, he can excel and move the chains. I didn't notice any real troubles with drops throughout the week. I see him as a mid-round pick, between 3-5. Personally, I don't think he's as good a prospect as Maurice Stovall was a year ago and see him more as a No. 3 or No. 4 wide receiver."
***How was Ryan Harris's week? "The first thing I noticed about him at the weigh-in was how his frame looked maxed out. By that I mean it looks like he is as big as he can get and there really isn't room to add any more weight. In the practices, he had some moments but for the most part I thought he really struggled and will probably drop a bit. A weak class of offensive tackles will work in his favor though and as a good athlete and four-year starter I could see him being a day one pick."
***Did Brady Quinn hurt his chances of being No. 1 overall by not being there? "No, I think it was a good decision for Brady not to play in the Senior Bowl because he had a lot more to lose than gain. In fact, I felt he was one of two players (the other being OL Joe Thomas of Wisconsin) who could legitimately justify not taking part. It is going to be a battle between Quinn and Russell the next few months. Quinn was in Mobile for a few days to meet with teams and I think he made a positive impression. I personally saw him talking with both the Panthers and Buccaneers."