- Matt Fortuna, ESPN Staff Writer
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Manti Te'o and Tyler Eifert may have been first-round NFL draft picks had they declared following their junior seasons. Instead, they helped resurrect Notre Dame football by bringing it back to the national title game, and they are expected to cash in in two months.
Draft guru Mel Kiper Jr. released his latest Big Board this week, with both former Irish players cracking the 25-man list. Te'o is listed at No. 14, down one spot from the previous Board, and Eifert has held steady at No. 22.
Both players also crack Kiper's top-five by position rankings , with Te'o trailing only Georgia's Alec Ogletree among inside linebackers and Eifert tops among tight ends. Kiper says Ogletree ranks higher than Te'o based on versatility, though Te'o is higher on the Big Board. Don't sleep on LSU's Kevin Minter, either, Kiper cautions.
Stanford's Zach Ertz makes a strong push on Eifert among tight ends, too.