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Notre Dame T Ronnie Stanley Could Be a Top-10 Draft Pick


INDIANAPOLIS -- Ronnie Stanley said he hasn't been looking, but some draft analysts have predicted that the San Francisco 49ers will use the No. 7 overall pick on the offensive tackle out of Notre Dame.

Stanley is the second-ranked offensive lineman in the 2016 draft class in the eyes of most experts, behind only Ole Miss tackle Laremy Tunsil. The former Fighting Irish star told media at the NFL Scouting Combine that similarly to mock drafts, he isn't paying any attention to those rankings.

"I always feel like I'm going to be the best, that's the mindset I always have," Stanley said.

It's that confidence, combined with his passion for football, that Stanley wants to sell to NFL clubs this week.

"I don't think many people know how important football is to me and how big of a role it's played throughout my life," the lineman said.

Stanley suggested that there's a common misconception that exists that he doesn't love the game of football enough. The talented pass-protector didn't specify the source of the narrative, but it was evident that he took exception to it.

"I think there's a big (group) of people thinking I'm lackadaisical, I guess," Stanley explained. "I've heard negative things that I'm just a laid-back guy that just relies on his talent, doesn't really love the game like he should.

"So I'm really trying to show the teams what football means to me."

The fact of the matter is that Stanley is very talented, and could likely be a top-10 selection in April. Clemson pass-rusher Shaq Lawson, who may also be taken in the first round, said on Friday that Stanley was the best offensive lineman he faced during his college career.

Stanley had been working out in Las Vegas leading up to the combine and focused on the technical side of the position, specifically his footwork. The lineman suggested that his experience on Notre Dame's offensive line will help his game translate to the NFL and become a Day 1 starter.

Stanley added that he's "equally comfortable" at both right and left tackle and knows that he can be an asset to whichever team opts to draft him. 

"Whatever team feels like they want me the most, that's the team I want to be on."

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