03/29/2013 - 2013 Notre Dame Pro Day: Zeke Motta, safety (6-2 1/4, 215) - After slipping on his first try, Motta ran 4.71 and 4.73. He did 16 strength reps and performed all right in position drills. Motta has good ball skills and figures to be a third- or fourth-round pick. - Gil Brandt, NFL.comOVERVIEW
A rare Notre Dame signee out of Forida, Motta quickly established himself as a future starter, contributing primarily as a special teams performer but also seeing action as backup safety and outside linebacker.
Motta emerged as a starter midway through his second season in South Bend, recording 50 tackles as well as an interception and a fumble recovery.
Expected to take on a greater role as a junior, Motta instead slid back, tallying just 40 stops while again showing less than ideal playmaking traits with one interception, a forced fumble and another fumble recovery. His tackles rose in 2012 as he started all 13 games, but Motta was blanked in the turnover department.
Motta looks the part "on the hoof" and is a solid open-field tackler with some coverage ability. He's talented enough to warrant Day Three consideration but the comparisons to former teammate Harrison Smith, drafted 29th overall by Minnesota last April, are off as he hasn't demonstrated the speed, instincts in coverage and ball-skills that translate in game-breaking plays.ANALYSIS
STRENGTHS: Possesses an impressive build with long, well-developed arms and good overall musculature. Reads run aggressively, showing the speed and confidence to race towards the line of scrimmage, avoid blockers and tackle the back for a loss on the stretch play. Has a surprisingly short, quick back-pedal and has some quick-twitch to him to close on underneath routes.
WEAKNESSES: Better when facing the quarterback than with his back turned. Was rarely challenged over the top due to Notre Dame's terrific pass rush, hiding a lack of ideal hip fluidity and straight-line speed. Consistently tackles high and though he generally wraps both arms, can see his efforts slip away as stronger backs continue to churn their feet.