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Notre Dame Football

Notre Dame NFL Draft Facts

April 23, 2020

It’s only hours away until the NFL Draft begins, but before we get there, I thought we’d take a look back at some NFL Draft facts for Notre Dame heading into the night.

- 39 players have been drafted during the Brian Kelly era, but 10 have come in the last two years. Six or seven may go off the board before the weekend is over.

Clemson has had 48 players taken over that same time, so roughly one more player per year. That one player can obviously make a difference as an impact player.

- Despite winning 10 games or more in five of his 10 seasons, Notre Dame has only had one quarterback drafted under Kelly. That would be Deshone Kizer back in 2017.

Ian Book could very well be a draftable player in next year’s draft, but is not projected to be a top pick.

- Every starting tight end has been drafted who played for Kelly and that streak will continue with Cole Kmet. There is a chance he sneaks into the back end of the first round tonight as the top tight end available.

If he goes tonight or in round two, he’ll be the fourth tight end to go in the top two rounds for the Irish since 2011 (Kyle Rudolph, Tyler Eifert, and Troy Niklas were the others).

- When Chase Claypool is selected, it will make five receivers drafted in six years for the Irish. If he goes off the board on day two as projected, he’ll be the fourth receiver in the last decade from Notre Dame that went in the first three rounds (Michael Floyd, Will Fuller, and Miles Boykin).

- When Julian Okwara and Khalid Kareem are off the board, that will make them the seventh and eight defensive linemen to be drafted in the last decade.

By comparison, Clemson has had 14 over the same amount of years. It’s no fluke that they’ve consistently played great defense and have won 10 or more games in nine straight years. Notre Dame could go on a run over the next few seasons to start closing the gap on the defensive line, though.

- If Alohi Gilman and Jalen Elliott are both drafted, they’ll be the first safeties for the Irish to be selected since Jamoris Slaughter and Zeke Motta in 2013.

- Projections for when Troy Pride will be taken have been all over the map, but when he does go, it will make him only the fifth corner to be drafted from the Irish in the last 10 years. He’ll only be the second to be drafted that is going to play corner and not moved to safety. (Robert Blanton, Bennett Jackson, and Julian Love) all switched to safety in the NFL.

- Those are the seven who have the best shot to be drafted, but players like Jamir Jones, Tony Jones Jr., and Asmar Bilal are expected to be undrafted free agents.

There have been some recent success stories in that regard including Romeo Okwara and Matthias Farley.

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