College football has ended and the Super Bowl has wrapped up the 2019 NFL season. Now the focus shifts to the upcoming combine, NFL Draft and Spring practice. With the combine and draft comes mock draft season. Notre Dame has started to catch the eye of the NFL crowd.
Notre Dame’s Strong Presence
Matt Miller released his full seven round mock draft and it featured eight Notre Dame players
- Cole Kmet – Pick #30 (1st round)
- Julian Okwara – Pick #54 (2nd round)
- Khalid Kareem – Pick #75 (3rd round)
- Chase Claypool – Pick #94 (3rd round)
- Troy Pride – Pick #145 (4th round)
- Jalen Elliot – Pick #153 (5th round)
- Alohi Gilman – Pick #196 (6th round)
- Tony Jones Jr. – pick #241 (7th round)
The consensus across mulitple mock drafts has Cole Kmet as a first round pick. He fits the perfect mold for what most teams are looking for in the NFL out of the TE position. Big frame but athletic with the ability to block and catch. Kmet could be a killer up the seam and will be yet another Notre Dame tight end drafted into the NFL.
The rest of the list isn’t all that surprising. Okwara and Kareem were some of the better edge players in all of college football and Claypool had a heck of a Senior season. As great as it looks to see all of these players get the recognition they deserve, it shows how special the 2016 class was.
2016 Recruiting Class
The 2016 recruiting class finished ranked 15th on 247 Sports and looked kind of disappointing on signing day. That class would go on to produce what looks to be 8 drafted players. (7 in the mock draft, Julian Love last season)
That also doesn’t account for the players still on the roster like Daelin Hayes, Ian Book, Tommy Kraemer and Liam Eichenberg. That 2016 class was recently re-evaluated on The Athletic and given a new grade based on performance. The author, Max Olson ranked the class as 4th behind only Clemson, Alabama and Florida.
It shows that Notre Dame is not only recruiting at a high level, but developing at an even higher level. Some of the guys on this list were just three star recruits. Notre Dame was able to develop and get production of what could be 10+ future NFL players in one class.
While these mock drafts mean very little and it is a wait and see until the draft, it does hold some weight. This class went 33-6 with two bowl wins and a playoff berth in their last three seasons. They were also a major reason for the Notre Dame turn around. The recruiting classes have been getting better and Notre Dame has playoff aspirations every year at this point. While the Fighting Irish haven’t made it back to a championship, they are a step away and this class is to thank.
Started Saturday Tailgate in 2018. Covering all things college football and talking Notre Dame on Twitter.