NOTRE DAME, Ind. - A total of 14 former Fighting Irish players took part in Tuesday's Notre Dame Football Pro Day. Manti Te'o was the highest-profiled player NFL scouts came to see, but the likes of safety Zeke Motta, former walk-on Chris Salvi and even injured players like Kapron Lewis-Moore and Jamoris Slaughter were on hand to try to make their own NFL impressions.
"I wanted to show the NFL what I had in terms of measurables and just what's inside," Salvi said of his time in front of NFL executives. "I feel like I did that today to the best of my abilities."
Salvi, who earned a scholarship as a senior after three seasons as a walk-on, ran a 4.65 40-yard dash, which was .04 better than the 4.69 time that will boost Manti Te'o's draft stock considerably. Salvi bench pressed 225 pounds 17 times, but he did not look nearly as fluid as fellow safety Motta while flipping his hips or breaking back on balls in the air.
"All I need is one team to give me an invite," Salvi said of his goal while trying to catch his breath after his workout. "I want to see it through. If I get to actually play football and then someone tells me it can't be done then that's fine, but I just want one shot."
While Salvi is a long shot for a training camp invite, Motta is likely to hear his name called somewhere in the middle of the draft in a month. Salvi came to the pro day hoping to make an impression - any impression - on any NFL team, while Motta worked out to improve his marks from last month's NFL Scouting Combine.
"You just want to make sure you can impress these guys on your one day," Motta said while dripping with sweat after his indoor workout. "I was fortunate enough to have a day at the combine to go out there and get these nerves and jitters out of the way."
Representatives of 27 of 32 NFL teams saw Motta run his 40 in 4.71 seconds. The other nine players who ran had two tries at the 40, but Motta got a third chance because he stumbled a little on his first attempt and was given the option for the third heat. He also improved his bench press from 11 at the combine to 16 reps on Tuesday.
Motta looked fluid and fast as he went through several backpedaling drills that saw him open his hips and break back on the ball. He caught every ball that was thrown in his direction.
"Really, I came out and tried to do better in the 40 and the bench and I did that," Motta said of his primary goals heading into the day. "I'm never really satisfied with mediocrity or average, but I did improve and that's only what I hoped to do."
Injured former Fighting Irish players Kapron Lewis-Moore and Jamoris Slaughter were both on hand for the pro day as well. Lewis-Moore suffered a torn ACL during Notre Dame's BCS Championship Game loss to Alabama, while Slaughter tore his Achilles tendon in September's win over Michigan State.
Lewis-Moore only had his "measureables" taken, but he did not do even the bench press at the pro day. The defensive end weighed-in at 302 pounds with a 10-inch hand measurement - the biggest of any of the 14 players on hand. His 33 4/8" arm was also the biggest (Braxton Cave's 32 5/8"was the next biggest).
Lewis-Moore is hoping for a full recovery by September, which puts him past the date of NFL season-openers. He is optimistic though after talking to several teams last month.
"When I went to the combine that's when I did my interviews and stuff like that," Lewis-Moore said. "It felt pretty comfortable. A lot of people liked what I put on film this year. I think this year's kind of more like let's see where the film gets me."
Lewis-Moore has a follow-up appointment next Monday in Indianapolis for his knee. He said he just recently began working out on an elliptical machine at EFT Sports Performance in Chicago.
Slaughter suffered his Achilles tear about a month after Notre Dame cornerback Lo Wood last fall and that is about how far behind Wood's recovery process the safety says he is. Wood has himself at 100-percent health, while Slaughter says he is 85-percent.
"For the last month I've been doing a lot of running," Slaughter said of his progress. "I've been doing full-speed straight ahead running. I've been able to do cutting and side-to-side movement type drills over bags and doing cones and cutting. I'm able to do a lot; I'm just not at the level that I want to be at yet."
Slaughter thinks he needs at least another month before he is able to go full speed and expects to be at full health by the time training camps open this summer. Interviewed with almost every NFL team at the combine and got "a lot of good feedback". He said there is no pain in the Achilles, but it is tender at times.
"Sometimes it gets sore," Slaughter commented. "It's just because I'm working those muscles again that I haven't worked for so long, but it's definitely getting back to the shape that it needs to be."
Slaughter will continue working out in Atlanta. He hopes to hear his name called late in the draft, but is prepared for a free agent invitation to an NFL camp.