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Where eight Notre Dame football players slotted in The Athletic’s seven-round NFL mock draft

Kyle Kellyby:Kyle Kelly04/18/24


The NFL Draft is officially one week away, and 13 Notre Dame football players hope to hear their names called within the 257 picks. 

In The Athletic’s NFL draft analyst Dane Brugler’s latest seven-round mock draft, he has eight former Fighting Irish players getting drafted. Here is a breakdown of each one. 

7. Tennessee Titans: OT Joe Alt (first round)

The Titans have become a frequent potential destination for Joe Alt. Brugler is the latest NFL Draft analyst to project the former Fighting Irish unanimous All-American to Tennessee.

“For the sake of being different, I could throw another name in here — but why go away from what makes sense?” Brugler said. “Alt fills a clear hole and (along with 2023 first-round left guard Peter Skoronski) would give the Titans one of the more promising left sides of an offensive line in the league.”

Since becoming the Tennessee Titans in 1999, they have only drafted one former Notre Dame player: linebacker Rocky Boiman (2002). Brugler has Alt as the first offensive tackle selected in this year’s draft.

84. Pittsburgh Steelers: OT Blake Fisher (third round)

It would be a win for Blake Fisher if he heard his name called on Day 2 of the NFL Draft after he forewent his final two years of eligibility for the professional ranks. Brugler has Fisher as the 10th offensive tackle to come off the board. 

The Irish have only had two or more offensive linemen drafted within the first 100 picks one other time within the last five years. Liam Eichenberg, Aaron Banks and Robert Hainsey went Nos. 42, 48 and 95, respectively, in the 2021 NFL Draft. 

The Steelers have not drafted a Notre Dame player since they tapped wide receiver Chase Claypool with the No. 49 pick. 

106. Tennessee Titans: CB Cam Hart (fourth round)

In Brugler’s mock draft, Cam Hart was six picks away from sneaking into the third round. Instead, he has the former Irish defensive back going to Nashville to team up with Alt. Brugler has Hart as the 16th cornerback to hear his name called. 

The last Notre Dame cornerback to be drafted earlier than Hart was when the Cincinnati Bengals chose KeiVare Russell with the No. 74 overall pick in 2016.   

124. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: RB Audric Estimé (fourth round)

Many NFL Draft pundits said the 2024 class is a down year for running backs. Brugler apparently agrees as he does not have a running back being picked until No. 65 when he projects the Panthers to take former Texas standout Jonathan Brooks

Brugler has Audric Estimé going 61 picks later to Tampa Bay. He also had five other running backs before the former Irish standout. 

“The Buccaneers are excited for Rachaad White this upcoming season, but it wouldn’t be a surprise if they draft another running back to help carry the load,” Brugler said. “And Estime has the bruising run style that complements White well.”

Hainsey was the last former Irish player drafted by the Buccaneers. 

206. Cleveland Browns: LB JD Bertrand (sixth round)

In Brugler’s mock draft, he has former Notre Dame players waiting 82 picks to hear one of their names called again. JD Bertrand broke the silence by going to Cleveland early in the sixth round. He was the 12th linebacker drafted.

If Bertrand were to end up with the Browns, he would team up with Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, another former Irish linebacker. Owusu-Koramoah was the last Notre Dame player drafted by the Browns. 

218. Baltimore Ravens: LB Marist Liufau (sixth round)

The Baltimore Ravens have proved they like Notre Dame players in the past, drafting Kyle Hamilton, Daelin Hayes, Miles Boykin and Ronnie Stanley within the last eight years. Marist Liufau would be the fifth one added to John Harbaugh’s squad. 

Liufau is the 14th linebacker picked in Brugler’s mock draft. He was three picks away from dropping into the seventh round. 

224. Cincinnati Bengals: QB Sam Hartman (seventh round)

Bengals franchise quarterback Joe Burrow has missed at least six games in two of his first four years in the NFL due to injury. Cincinnati needs a backup quarterback, so Brugler has the six-year collegiate veteran Sam Hartman, winding up with the Bengals. 

Brugler has 11 quarterbacks coming off the board before Hartman, who is also the last signal-caller selected in the mock draft. Ian Book was the last Notre Dame passer drafted when the Saints took him No. 133 overall in 2021. 

244. Dallas Cowboys: EDGE Javontae Jean-Baptiste (seventh round)

Javontae Jean-Baptiste avoided being undrafted by 14 picks. Brugler has the former Ohio State transfer as the 23rd and final edge rusher drafted in 2024. 

Jean-Baptiste had a breakout year in his one season in South Bend. He racked up 49 tackles and 5 sacks — enough to earn an invite to the Reese’s senior bowl. The last Notre Dame player drafted by the Cowboys was linebacker Jaylon Smith in 2016. 

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