Nine Notre Dame players make invite list for NFL Combine

South Bend Tribune

Nine former Notre Dame football players are among the 335 who have been invited to the NFL Scouting Combine, Feb. 19-25 in Indianapolis.

The combine is the premier audition stage for NFL Draft hopefuls. The 2014 NFL Draft is May 8-10 in New York.

The Irish contingent includes all three juniors who declared for the draft – tight end Troy Niklas, running back George Atkinson III and defensive end Stephon Tuitt.

Seniors Zack Martin, an offensive tackle, and Louis Nix, a nose guard, are ND’s top-rated draft prospects and headline the ND list. Other invitees are offensive guard Chris Watt, outside linebacker Prince Shembo, wide receiver TJ Jones and cornerback Bennett Jackson.

ESPN draft analysts Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay each released a new version of their mock drafts this week. Each of them has Nix going to Pittsburgh with the 15th pick in the first round and Martin to Miami at No. 19. McShay projects Tuitt to the New England Patriots at No. 29.   

Here’s a link to the entire list of invitees, which includes 85 underclassmen:

Notre Dame's Louis Nix (1) closes in on Michigan quarterback Devin Gardner.