It’s impossible to tell the story of the 2020 Notre Dame football team without mentioning the big impact that Ben Skowronek made in the offense, specifically regarding the chemistry he developed with quarterback Ian Book.
Skowronek came to South Bend as a graduate transfer from Northwestern University prior to the 2020 season. He proved to be a big get for Brian Kelly and Tommy Rees considering all of the production they lost via the 2020 NFL Draft.
Meet the Prospect
Ben Skowronek finished his collegiate career with 139 receptions, 14 touchdowns, 13.4 YPC, and 1,856 yards between his time in Evanston and South Bend. Perhaps the most intriguing part of Skowronek’s story was his ability to adjust and flourish in the Notre Dame offense in just his first year on campus coming off an injury.
Skowronek made his debut against Louisville and seemed to progressively improve as the season went along. His best performances came against Pitt and Boston College as he hauled in five total touchdowns between those two games. During his short time in South Bend, Skowronek solidified his status as an NFL prospect by showing scouts he can run all the routes in a polished fashion and turn 50/50 balls into 80/20 balls thanks to possessing the required physical traits required of a modern NFL Receiver.
By all accounts, Skowronek became the #1 receiver for the Irish in 2020. His numbers provide further context to him becoming Book’s top target and a player that offensive coordinator Tommy Rees could count on in big moments.
Further building on his draft intrigue, Skowronek is an above-average blocker for a wideout, which could help when it comes to making an NFL roster because coaches love a receiver who isn’t afraid to get their nose dirty.
He also showed the ability to run the end around, which is becoming increasingly popular in NFL offenses. Skowronek even scored a touchdown on an end-around play against North Carolina, as the clip below shows. Take a look at the blocking up front from Notre Dame’s offensive line in addition to the downfield shots delivered by Tommy Tremble to enable this great run by Skowronek.
Skowronek is a hard worker and no stranger to adversity as he has spent time off the field in his collegiate career due to injury. But if his senior season and overall production in college is any indication of how his NFL career will go, he will enjoy a long tenure in the league.
Realistically, Skowronek will likely come off the board on Day 3 of the draft and work his way onto an NFL roster this fall. As far as team fit, the Lions, Steelers, Eagles, Bears, 49ers, Washington Football Team, and Ravens could be possible destinations. Obviously, there is volatility at play when analyzing with the mid to late rounds of the draft, making it much harder to predict exactly where a player will go. Nonetheless, Skowronek’s track record and perseverance will become apparent to NFL coaches and GM’s and he will be a nice value pick on Day 3.