Editor’s Note: Some may take this as a means of doing less work, combining both a draft preview with a draft recap. The truth is, it should be seen as a peek behind the curtain. A draft recap is written long ahead of time, leaning heavily on repurposing the draft preview, so as to publish quickly upon the announcement of the pick. The thought is, this might be a more light-hearted approach. These days, light-hearted approaches are the way to go, though perhaps the NFL’s approach to draft logistics is taking that too seriously.
When Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly spoke of giving GPS information and work-rate details to NFL front offices to help them in remote scouting former Irish players, he did not name cornerback Troy Pride specifically, but it would make sense that such data may have helped Pride overcome his how-could-it-be-disappointing, yet-disappointing 4.40-second 40-yard dash at the NFL combine.
Apparently, the insert NFL team name here saw enough in those details to spend a ____-round pick on Pride, the No. ___ overall selection. Given Pride spent the preseason working against budding-star receiver Chase Claypool each day, those GPS measurements may have revealed a durability and physicality otherwise difficult to define.
If the former track star had run a 4.30 or faster, as both Pride and many others suggested he would, at either the NFL combine or a Notre Dame Pro Day that was eventually canceled, he may have worked his way up into the second round. Instead Friday’s/Saturday’s third-/fourth- or fifth- round will serve as his professional starting point.
Pride finished his Irish career with four interceptions and 121 tackles, a three-year starter largely overshadowed by Julian Love, taken in last year’s fourth round. Pride never displayed Love’s technical aptitude, but his raw speed made him a strong cover corner in most situations, nonetheless.
Troy Pride Jr. has only given up 5 catches of 25+ yards in his career at Notre Dame.
He's been targeted 175 times. pic.twitter.com/DPIvEPiuCh
— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) April 22, 2020
In a league driven more by physical traits than the intangible ones the college game often hinges upon, Pride may well become a multi-year starter.
Insert comments on Pride’s initial salary, with the numbers drawn from Spotrac.com’s database. Plug in that he is Notre Dame’s ___th draft pick this weekend, following defensive end Julian Okwara, tight end Cole Kmet, and possibly Claypool and defensive end Khalid Kareem. Adjust those names to match the order of selection.