After redshirting in 2009, he earned his way onto the field in 2010 as a redshirt freshman, finishing with 27 catches for 352 yards (13.3) and two touchdowns. Eifert had his most productive season in 2011 as a junior (13 starts), recording 63 receptions (tops in the nation among tight ends) for 803 yards and five touchdowns, earning numerous All-American honors.
He led the Irish in receiving in 2012 as a junior with a team-best 50 catches for 685 yards and four touchdowns, winning the Mackey Award (Nation's top tight end). Eifert decided to skip his final season of eligibility and enter the 2013 NFL Draft.
Eifert was a 215-pound receiver out of high school who didn't receive too many scholarship offers, but has developed into one of the top all-around tight ends to enter the NFL Draft in recent memory.
He was Notre Dame's No. 1 offensive weapon in 2012, lining up out wide as a receiver or in-line as a traditional tight end, and was the type of target defensive coordinators had to game plan against. Eifert is a fluid pass-catcher with vacuum hands and the hand/eye coordination to make tough catches and, although he doesn't create a lot of space, he secures grabs in traffic, showing outstanding tracking and high-pointing ability.
He is a soft spoken guy, but an animal on the field and a much better blocker than given credit, improving in leaps and bounds the past three years with excellent effort - projects as a starting NFL tight end with excellent potential as both a receiver and blocker.
Does a nice job gaining position in coverage with very good footwork, taking pride in his routes and showing much improvement in this area. Elevates well to go up and attack the ball, just needs a chance and chances are he'll come down with it - very good at mid-air adjustments, making a lot of catches with his feet off the ground.
Strong at the line of scrimmage to release and beat press coverage, using his hands and size very well. Has an excellent sense of his surroundings and always knows where the sticks are located, getting turned to show his QB his numbers. Willing blocker and doesn't shy from contact, flashing the aggressiveness and take-on strength to sustain, seal and finish in the run game.
Lines up in-line, in the slot and outside the numbers, showing the versatility to put his hand on the ground and hold his own in the trenches. Team-first guy and proudly wore the "C" on his jersey, giving full effort whether as a receiver or blocker.
Was productive in his three seasons, leaving Notre Dame with just about every school receiving record for a tight end including catches (140) and receiving yards (1,840). Eifert was a Mackey Award finalist in 2011 before winning the award in 2012.
WEAKNESSES: Has done a nice job adding weight to his frame, but appears maxed out physically. Lacks elite quickness in his break to consistently separate and is still growing as a route-runner. Has good, but not great, straight-line speed and can be caught from behind by linebackers. Will have some dropped passes at times and, while not a large concern, has room to improve his focus through the catch. Still growing as a blocker and needs to use better angles.
COMPARES TO: Heath Miller, TE, Steelers - While more athletic than Miller, Eifert has a similar skill-set with his ability to make tough catches in tight spaces, winning one-on-one situations. Also has the speed to be a threat vertically or down the seam.