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Eifert selected by Cincinnati Bengals with 21st pick

Apr 26, 2013, 3:03 AM EDT

Kapron Lewis-Moore, Manti Te'o, Tyler Eifert, Zack Martin

Notre Dame’s record-setting tight end Tyler Eifert was selected by the Cincinnati Bengals with the 21st pick in the NFL Draft’s first round. He was the first tight end selected in the draft and is the 64th former Irish player to be taken in the first round.

It’s the second time in two seasons that the Irish have had a skill position player taken in the first round, with the Arizona Cardinals selecting Michael Floyd in last year’s first round. Both athletes made the difficult decision to delay entering the draft and return for their senior seasons.

“This is such an exciting time for Tyler and his family,” Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly said. “He was faced with a difficult decision following his junior season whether or not to return to school. Tyler returned for his senior season and that decision was rewarded today. He proved to be the best tight end in college football, solidified himself as a first-round draft pick and, most importantly, earned his degree from the University of Notre Dame.”

Eifert is an interesting fit in the Bengals offense. Already equipped with a two-time Pro Bowler in Jermaine Gresham, both Eifert and Gresham were selected 21st in the draft, just three years apart. Together they’ll give quarterback Andy Dalton another weapon in the passing game, to compliment breakout star A.J. Green.

“It’s a great deal. It’s an interesting deal,” Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden told Bengals.com. “The thing about it is if we throw the ball effectively out of it and they want to put an extra (defensive back) in there, we can run the ball because we’ve got (bigger) people in there.”

It’s a system that was employed by the Irish last season and put to good use. Now the Bengals will have Gresham, Eifert, veteran Alex Smith and former Georgia star Orson Charles at the position.

It wasn’t all good news for the Irish at the NFL Draft, as Eifert’s All-American teammate, Manti Te’o, didn’t hear his name called Thursday night. Te’o will likely come off the board sometime early in the second round.

  1. fitzp - Apr 26, 2013 at 4:59 AM

    Congrats Tyler – well deserved but did hope the Bears got him.

    Can’t believe Manti didn’t go in the first round. Did teams not look at his whole football body of work over the 4 years at ND?? (not to mention that he was a top pick out of High School – pedigree there).

    He will be a steal for a team now in Round 2 – I really hope that Manti proves them all wrong and has an unbelievable NFL career, I believe he will………….Go Irish!

    • 1historian - Apr 26, 2013 at 10:11 AM

      Manti was manhandled by Alabama’s O line. I believe he reached his peak @ ND.

      • gtizzo - Apr 26, 2013 at 10:33 AM

        Coaches love players who are willing to work hard to get better. Don’t confuse over hyped draft mania as the ultimate arbiter of talent. Keep in mind Tom Brady didn’t go until the sixth round. Manti is willing to work to get better, just because he didn’t go in the first round means nothing. The draft has become nothing more the a media hype machine meant to throw a bone to football fans until the season starts. The CBA made talent cheap which means more trades and more teams willing to make stupid picks…like the Bills. Leave production like Manti had at ND to the second round is a steal.

      • ndirish10 - Apr 26, 2013 at 2:00 PM

        1historian,

        Alabama manhandled everyone but LSU, Texas A & M, and Georgia. Why don’t analyst say the same about how Alabama manhandled Sheldon Richardson (13th) or Cordarrelle Patterson (29th)? At least this will take some pressure of Manti. Hopefully he uses this and has a very productive and successful career.

      • shazboujan - Apr 26, 2013 at 8:33 PM

        I just bought a great Nissan GT-R: from earning $6178 this last 4 weeks, and would you believe $10k last month. Its by far the easiest-job I’ve ever had. I actually started 10-months ago and practically straight away got at least $81 p/h! Be paid weekly and earn like a boss. This is what I do Wow55.Com__

    • dickasman - Apr 26, 2013 at 11:16 AM

      Poor guy…bengals are like the auburn university of NFL starting w that enabler horsesht of a owner. Sign the shortest deal possible then gtfo!

      I absolutely cannot believe bears passed unreal. I thought we got rid of Jerry Angelo but apparently not.

      I think if manti drops to 2nd or 3rd, it’s not a bad thing. Fly under the radar, less pressure and stress to deal with and might keep him hungrier to perform better but more importantly, grow da fock up! Let me give you the first piece of advice manti. Stop listening to that hip hop rap sht kid cuz u ain’t blak.

    • massivedick - Apr 26, 2013 at 2:24 PM

      seriously ! …. if i hear adam shefter say teo’s name again i will go f’n ape shit. teo is the most overrated player in years. if it was not for the catholic mafia promoting him he would be just another irish wannabe. tyler however was the real deal. good for him.

      • 4horsemenrideagain - Apr 27, 2013 at 8:25 AM

        Your handle should be “tiny wiener.”

      • massivedick - Apr 28, 2013 at 12:48 PM

        awesome comeback … dork

  2. mediocrebob - Apr 26, 2013 at 5:19 AM

    Happy for Eif. However I hate the bengals and bengals fans. Unhappy that they are on Team Eifert now.

    • stedward - Apr 26, 2013 at 10:14 AM

      My steelers fan friends are upset about that. I’m not the biggest fan of bengals fans (who dey? is terrible and they should feel bad) either but I’ll always root for the ND guys.

  3. bernhtp - Apr 26, 2013 at 7:36 AM

    Cincinnati is good for his family – about a three-hour drive from Fort Wayne.

    • dickasman - Apr 26, 2013 at 11:18 AM

      Geez Bern how many shovels did you use to dig through the manure to come up with that gem?

      • bernhtp - Apr 26, 2013 at 7:44 PM

        Maybe I know the family pretty well and don’t need to dig through anything to blurt that out.

  4. dudeacow - Apr 26, 2013 at 10:15 AM

    Great job, Eifert. Best of luck. I can’t wait to see you rip up NFL defenses.

    But as for Te’o…
    If he left after his junior season he would have been a first round pick. He was a great run stopper, albeit he was terrible in pass coverage. He decided to return for his senior season. All he did was become the most decorated player in college football history, place second in Heisman voting behind possibly the best SEC quarterback ever, finish higher than any other true defensive player in Heisman voting, almost single-handedly take ND, against all odds, to the championship game, and pick off 7 passes, the most by any linebacker IN THE LAST DECADE. And all of that, folks, is forgotten because he ran a pointless sprint a tenth of a second slower than expected and because some idiot pulled a prank on him.

    I think the NFL just broke logic.

    • dickasman - Apr 26, 2013 at 11:24 AM

      Dude, sh!t happens, that’s life. Look at the university of sht cok quarterback Matt Barkley. I wouldn’t feel sorry for him because he’s one of ours. He did exactly what he was suppose to do and is expected of every nd student, go to 4 years of college and graduate. He should be commended yes but let’s not go overboard feeling sorry for him.

      Manti get your azz up, put that garbage hip hop Muzak down, go out there and show these koksukers you can chase down nfl running backs.

    • runners00 - Apr 26, 2013 at 11:27 AM

      Most Decorated player in college history?

      • ndirish10 - Apr 26, 2013 at 2:08 PM

        I would say one of the most award winning players in college history:

        (From Wiki)

        Heisman Trophy Runner-Up (2012)
        Lott Trophy (2012)
        Maxwell Award (2012)
        Chuck Bednarik Award (2012)
        Walter Camp Award (2012)
        Bronko Nagurski Trophy (2012)
        Butkus Award (2012)
        Lombardi Award (2012)
        ARA Sportsmanship Award (2012)
        Unanimous First Team All-American (2012)
        Capital One First Team Academic All-American (2012)
        2× FBS Independent Defensive Player of the Year (2011, 2012)

      • dudeacow - Apr 26, 2013 at 2:21 PM

        He won seven national awards, two more than runner-up Charles Woodson.

      • italianirish - Apr 26, 2013 at 2:44 PM

        Are the FBS Independent Player of the year awards are handed out at the ND football banquet every year?

      • ndirish10 - Apr 26, 2013 at 3:16 PM

        italianirish,

        And the FBS Independent Player of the year awards is what you focused on? dudeacow summed it up. GO IRISH!!!

      • heisenbyrg - Apr 26, 2013 at 7:35 PM

        No one else thinks italianirish made a good joke? Gave me a chuckle. Rough crowd.

      • runners00 - Apr 26, 2013 at 8:47 PM

        I would just say that he ran a 4.8 40. Twice. By way of comparison, Cornelius Washington ran a 40 in 4.44. It’s a huge difference. I have loved T’eo. I think he’s a good human being, great student and he had a strong college career. But come on — no 21 year old is going to run a 4.8 and be an effective linebacker in the league. It’s too slow.

        This is one thing that really hurt him. The other was the Alabama game, when the Tide rolled all over him (and our beloved Irish, which we can all agree showed little fight that night). Sure, they rolled everyone. But that is the kind of competition that T’eo will see on Sundays, only Alabama’s not as good as the typical pro football team.

        Thrilled for Eifert. He’s a good kid. I hope he has an amazing career.

  5. goirishgo - Apr 26, 2013 at 2:47 PM

    Interesting take by Francesa today on how the pro game has changed. For years, establishing the run was the key to winning and defenses were therefore built to stop the run. As a result, running backs and ILBs were in very high demand.

    Now the fundamental offensive approach has shifted to spreading out the field and creating mismatches in space. Big, fast and athletic tight ends are in demand as are physical safeties who can cover them (safeties as first round picks never used to happen!). More four and five receiver sets have generated a need for CBs to play nickel and dime packages.

    The offshoot is that there are just fewer RBs and ILBs on the field. The positions have been marginalized in the draft as a result. Only one ILB and no RBs were taken in round one TY.

    My connection of those thoughts to Manti’s situation is that he may simply play a position for which there is less demand. It certainly would explain why the Vikings went CB and WR instead of Manti at 25 and 29.

    • gtizzo - Apr 26, 2013 at 4:26 PM

      Francesa is wrong…totally wrong. Need proof consider this: The top 10 teams against the run six of them made the playoffs. The top 10 rushing teams in the NFL again six made the playoffs. Go to the passing game: The bottom ten teams against the pass four of them made the playoffs.where as three teams made the playoffs from top of the table (defense against the pass). Add to the fact that 4 of the worst secondaries in NFL made the playoffs last season and one won the Super Bowl. Those facts alone show that the run game still matters…stopping the run still matters. Same is true in college you don’t see Nick Saban throwing the ball 40 times a game. He recruits great offensive linemen and beats you over the head with a ball of muscle in the back field. I would wager Saban himself in the backfield behind his offensive line and rush for 500 yards or more in a season. Chip Kelly went up tempo with the run game and turned Oregon into a power house. What to here something even more amazing? Kenjon Barner the back the runs faster then the micro machine man can talk…3 star recruit.

  6. yogihilt - Apr 26, 2013 at 3:49 PM

    I does not matter where you start, it’s how you finish..Ask Unitas (undrafted), Montana (3rd?), Brady (6th) Thurm Thomas (2), Brees (2)
    It’s obviously not an exact science. If he’s that good, he’ll shine in a few years… that’s what’s important. Good Luck, Manti, Tyler, and all the rest

  7. fnc111 - Apr 26, 2013 at 6:19 PM

    Eifert is a stud. Bears showed us why they still suck. How do you not draft this kid???? Might be for the best because they’d screw his career up. Outside of a couple OL picks early on, drafting Eifert was stealing for whoever got him.

  8. fnc111 - Apr 26, 2013 at 6:21 PM

    I was spot on. Eifert was a lock for the first round and I said for months all over the net that Teo was not a first round pick.

    • nudeman - Apr 26, 2013 at 7:39 PM

      Well I’m sure we’ll all want your phone # now that you’ve defined yourself as our oracle. Then … kinda ez to be right when you just predict negative shit all the time.

    • nudeman - Apr 27, 2013 at 3:38 AM

      Btw … you’re on the clock on your other prediction that ND will go 6-6 now that Kiel, who’s never played a down, has transferred.

      Tick, tick, tick … asswipe

  9. shazboujan - Apr 26, 2013 at 8:32 PM

    Its important to me

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