Notre Dame RB Josh Adams NFL Draft

Mike Vorel
South Bend Tribune

It might appear that Adams’ production doesn’t sync up with the pick. After all, the 6-foot-2, 225-pound running back played in all 38 possible games at Notre Dame, finishing with 3,198 rushing yards, 6.6 yards per carry and 20 career rushing touchdowns. He’s fifth in school history in career rushing yards and third in career yards per carry (6.6), behind only Reggie Brooks (7.6) and Don Miller (6.8).

The climax to his college career came in 2017, when the Warrington, Pa., native racked up 1,430 rushing yards, 6.9 yards per carry and nine touchdowns, while tying for the national lead with seven rushes of at least 60 yards. He finished just seven yards shy of the single-season program rushing record set in 1979 by Vagas Ferguson, who needed 95 more carries to reach that mark.

Adams holds the Irish record for freshman rushing, with 835 yards in 2015. His 98-yard rushing touchdown against former ND defensive coordinator Mike Elko's Wake Forest Demon Deacons in 2015 is the longest run in Notre Dame Stadium history.

And, during the program’s Pro Day on March 22, Adams ran the 40-yard dash in 4.48 seconds and finished the three-cone drill in 6.75 seconds, the latter being a faster mark than any running back that completed the drill at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis.

Why, then, does Adams’ draft standing pale in comparison to his production? That’s due in large part to the junior’s perceived lack of durability. Adams tore his ACL during his junior season at Warrington (Pa.) Central Bucks South High School, and NFL Network’s Mike Mayock reported during Notre Dame’s Pro Day on March 22 that he may require foot surgery this offseason. Adams also faded down the stretch last fall, managing just 261 rushing yards in his final five games.

Still, the siren song of an NFL future swayed Adams to become the 16th true junior at Notre Dame to declare for the draft, which began accepting junior declarations in 1989, and the eighth in the last five draft cycles. The last Irish running back to be selected was C.J. Prosise in 2016.

Like Prosise, a team was willing to take a chance on Adams. He was granted an opportunity.

Now it’s time to take advantage.

Notre Dame’s Josh Adams (33) breaks away from NC State defenders during the Notre Dame-NC State NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 28, 2017, at Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend. Tribune Photo/ROBERT FRANKLIN