According to a source on the scene, Notre Dame tight end Kyle Rudolph was clocked at 4.78 seconds in the 40-yard dash at his Pro Day workout Thursday.
The time will be considered by some to be a disappointing one, considering that Rudolph is viewed as the unquestioned top prospect at his position. As a comparison, nine of the 17 tight ends invited to the Scouting Combine were timed faster in the event.
Though the 40-yard dash time wasn't impressive, it is in line with the straight-line speed (or rather lack thereof) shown by Rudolph on tape.
This isn't to say that I don't believe Rudolph can be an effective player. At 6-6, 259 pounds, Rudolph is an all-around tight capable of making an impact as a receiver and blocker. He is not, however, an explosive player. As I've noted previously , some of his production while at Notre Dame has to be attributed to the wide open offenses instituted by former head coach Charlie Weis and current Notre Dame head coach, Brian Kelly.
His speed is very similar to those run by Zach Miller, John Carlson, Brandon Pettigrew, and others picked in the top 40 in recent drafts at the position.
There's no reason to believe his stock will greatly increase or decrease based on today's workout--through just seeing him perform drills and run routes will ease scouts' minds. A solid medical report from the re-checks in Indianapolis is another key factor in his final grade.
Rudolph's Pro Day workout is critical to his final draft grade because he was unable to participate at the Combine due to his recovery from surgery to repair the torn hamstring that cut short his junior season.
NFLDraftScout.com will keep you updated on Rudolph and other Notre Dame players as their results from their Pro Day come through.
Senior Analyst Chad Reuter contributed to this report.