It’s impossible to tell the story of the Notre Dame football team in 2020 without mentioning Ben Skowronek’s huge impact on the offense, especially the chemistry he developed with quarterback Ian Book.
Skowronek came to South Bend as a senior at Northwestern University prior to the 2020 season. He has proven to be a big help to Brian Kelly and Tommy Rees given the amount of production they lost in the 2020 NFL Draft.
Ben Skowronek finished his college career with 139 receptions, 14 touchdowns, 13.4 YPC and 1,856 yards during his time in Evanston and South Bend. Perhaps the most intriguing part of Skowronek’s story is his ability to adapt and thrive in Notre Dame’s offense in his first year on campus after suffering an injury.
Skowronek made his debut against Louisville and seemed to get better and better over the course of the season. His best performances came against Pitt and Boston College, where he scored five touchdowns between those two games. In his short time in South Bend, Skowronek cemented his status as an NFL prospect by showing scouts that he can run all routes brilliantly and turn 50/50 balls into 80/20 balls by possessing the physical attributes necessary to be a modern NFL receiver.
As it stands, Skowronek looks to be the Irish’s No. 1 receiver in 2020. His numbers provide additional context making him a target of choice and a player that offensive coordinator Tommy Reese can count on in big moments.
Judging by his draft intrigue, Skowronek is an above-average blocker, which can be helpful when putting together an NFL team, as coaches like receivers who aren’t afraid to get their noses dirty.
Notre Dame had the two best WR blockers in all of college football this season with Ben Skowronek and Javon McKinley, according to PFF.
Perimeter blocking has been one of the team’s most underrated elements this season. Skowronek in particular has a grudge against him.
– Ryan Roberts (@RiseNDraft) December 13, 2020
He also showed the ability to run to the end zone, which is becoming increasingly popular in NFL-related offenses. Skowronek even scored a touchdown in the final game against North Carolina, as seen in the clip below. Look at the blocking on Notre Dame’s offensive line, plus Tommy Tremblay’s drops that made that great throw by Skowronek possible.
Skowronek is a hard worker and no stranger to trouble, having been off the field for a while during his college career due to injuries. But if his senior season and overall college production are any indication of how his NFL career will go, he’ll benefit from staying in the league longer.
It is likely that Skowronek will come off the board on the third day of the draft and find his place on the NFL board in the fall. If possible, the Lions, Steelers, Eagles, Bears, 49ers, Washington football team and Ravens could be possible targets. Obviously, there is a lot of volatility when analyzing the middle and end of the draft, which makes it much harder to predict exactly where a player will go. Still, Skowronek’s track record and stamina will be obvious to NFL coaches and GMs, and he would be a good pick on Day 3.
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