The scouting process for the draft runs primarily from September through mid- April. The athletic testing portion of the evaluation process takes center stage starting in February. However, how NFL draft prospects perform in actual football games is what matters most. Here is a closer look at some of the notable prospects in the Notre Dame – Stanford contest and their impact on the outcome:TE Tyler Eifert, Notre Dame, Senior: Notre Dame’s top offensive weapon helped the Irish with 4 receptions for 57 yards (14.25 per) and a big touchdown. His 24-yard touchdown catch in the 4th quarter tied the game at 10 and gave the offense some life. Eifert used his height, body control, soft hands and timing to highpoint a pass between two defenders to make the catch. He was quick out of his breaks on a couple of curl-in routes to keep the Irish moving downfield. College football’s best tight end is not going to post big numbers playing with an inexperienced quarterback who is not real accurate. This was obvious against Stanford as Eifert had to adjust to low throws and was not thrown the ball at times despite being open. He needs to make a play when the opportunity arises and he did this against Stanford. Eifert also blocked with decent leverage and does not shy from an effort standpoint in this area. His pass catching prowess and ability to run will be rewarded more in the NFL.ILB Manti Te’o, Notre Dame, Senior: Te’o is a good example of a player who helped himself by returning to college for his senior season. Te’o is having a terrific season and continued his impressive play against Stanford. He led the Notre Dame defense with 11 tackles and provided solid pass coverage. Stanford bullied the Irish on the ground in recent seasons and Te’o was a key part on a defense that said, not this year. Te’o diagnosed plays quickly and played fast. Stanford has a downhill running attack and Te’o took on blocks and played physically. He also did a nice job covering the tight end in coverage. His quick hands and good timing enabled him to breakup a pass over the middle. Te’o has displayed a complete game this year and his draft stock is rising.OLB Chase Thomas, Stanford, Senior: The intense Cardinal defender had a productive game with 4 tackles, 3 quarterback pressures and a fumble recovery for a touchdown. Thomas has a knack for slipping blocks and he is a fundamentally sound linebacker. The three-year starter used an effective swim and push-pull move when pass rushing to beat blockers. He also does a good job on stunts. Thomas had several opportunities to make sacks, but could not quite corral the quick Notre Dame quarterback (Everett Golson). Thomas was solid versus the run and is a secure tackler. He plays a disciplined game and is tough to trick. Thomas lacks the ideal burst NFL teams seek as an outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense. It will be interesting to see how well he tests at the combine.ILB Shayne Skov, Stanford, Senior: The tough Cardinal inside linebacker had a solid game with 5 tackles and half a sack. Skov finds the football and plays downhill. He helped limit Notre Dame’s run gains by shedding blocks well. Skov can be physical when blitzing and overpower a back trying to block him. He will fit right in as an inside linebacker in a 3-4 defense at the next level. His ability to cover NFL backs and tight ends in pass coverage is questionable. He will have an opportunity in the post-season to alleviate some of those concerns.TE Zach Ertz, Stanford, Junior: The tight end is the main target in Stanford’s passing attack. Ertz is a big target and caught 4 passes for 55 yards (13.75 per). Stanford likes to split him out wide and he is a capable route runner. Ertz uses his hands well and does not let many passes get into his body. He will occasionally have a concentration drop and is not a dangerous runner after making the reception. Ertz does a good job of catching the low pass despite being tall (six foot six). Ertz gave effort in the blocking department, but he lacks power.RB Stepfan Taylor, Stanford, Senior: Taylor pounded away at a tough Notre Dame front seven for 102 yards on 28 carries (3.6 per). He also caught 4 passes for only 22 yards (5.5 per). Taylor does his best work between the tackles as a downhill runner. He was solid against Notre Dame, but could not make a big play. Taylor hit some holes hard and broke arm tackles. He finishes his runs well and has a low center of gravity and a strong lower body. The Cardinal workhorse has average speed to the outside. Taylor is a solid back who can run, catch and block. However, he does not have much upside at the NFL level. He could be a slightly smaller and less powerful version of Shonn Greene in the NFL.