Friday, May 24, 2024

Seven Notre Dame Players Get Picked In The 2024 NFL Draft

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The 2024 NFL Draft has concluded and a number of former Notre Dame players heard their names called over the three day event. Seven different Notre Dame players were selected in this year’s draft, ranging from round one to round seven.

Notre Dame has now produced 532 draft picks during its history, which is the most of any college.

Here’s a look at where the former Notre Dame players were selected:

ROUND 1 – JOE ALT, OL – LOS ANGELES CHARGERS

Alt was taken with the 5th overall pick, making him the highest drafted Notre Dame offensive lineman since 1969. This was the first pick for Jim Harbaugh with the Chargers, and it’s not at all surprising that Harbaugh kicked off his tenure with the best blocker in the draft. Alt is the first player to be drafted by the Chargers since safety Alohi Gilman was picked in the sixth round in 2020. The last time the Chargers took a Notre Dame player in the first round was 2019 when the organization selected defensive tackle Jerry Tillery with the No. 28 overall pick.

The one question is where Alt will play. The Chargers already have an All-Pro caliber left tackle in Rashawn Slater, who was picked 13th overall in the 2021 NFL Draft. Alt could move to right tackle, Slater could move to right tackle with Alt playing left tackle, or the Chargers could even choose to move Slater inside to guard and put him beside Alt. Harbaugh stated the Chargers will play their best five and will figure out specifics down the road.

ROUND 2 – BLAKE FISHER, OL – HOUSTON TEXANS

Fisher was taken with the 59th overall pick. It marked the second draft in a row that the Texans took a former Notre Dame blocker, as Fisher joins Jarrett Patterson, who was taken in the 6th round a year ago. The Texans also took former Notre Dame lineman Nick Martin in the second round of the 2016 Draft. Fisher became the sixth former Notre Dame offensive lineman to be picked in the last four drafts.

Fisher walks into an ideal situation, with the Texans needing an upgrade at right tackle. If he can play up to his potential the former Irish blocker will have a chance to make an early impact with the Texans.

ROUND 3 – MARIST LIUFAU, LB – DALLAS COWBOYS

Liufau was taken with the 87th overall pick in what was a bit of a surprise. Heading into the draft most of the projections had Liufau going from the fifth to sixth round, but he was taken late in the third round. Liufau becomes the first former Irish standout to be taken by the Cowboys since Jaylon Smith was taken in round two back in 2016.

Linebacker was a clear need for the Cowboys heading into the draft due to injuries and former first round pick Micah Parsons moving to the edge. Liufau had a breakout campaign for Notre Dame in 2023 and will get a chance to earn a role on defense and special teams with the Cowboys.

ROUND 5 – CAM HART, CB – LOS ANGELES CHARGERS

Hart was taken with the 140th overall pick and he was the second Notre Dame player to be chosen by Harbaugh and the Chargers. Notre Dame has been a popular school for the Chargers over the last decade plus, with Hart being the eighth former Irish standout to be selected by the Chargers dating back to 2013 when the organization selected Manti Te’o in the second round. Six of those eight players were defenders, but Hart is the only defensive back to be taken.

This was a bit of a slide for Hart, who was projected to go anywhere from the second to fourth rounds heading into the draft. The good news is Hart walks into an organization that is in need of an outside starter at cornerback and also desperately needs to add depth to the position. Hart was one of two corners to be chosen by the Chargers in the 2024 NFL Draft.

ROUND 5 – JD BERTRAND, LB – ATLANTA FALCONS

Bertrand was taken with the 143rd overall pick and went about a round higher than most projections had him coming into the draft. A native of Georgia, Bertrand also gets to return home to begin his professional career. The two-time Irish captain is the first player to be taken by Atlanta since it drafted defensive end Adetokunbo Ogundeji back in 2021. Bertrand is the fourth player to be chosen by the Falcons in the last 11 drafts, and he joins Zeke Motta (2013), Prince Shembo (2014) and Ogundeji.

The Falcons seem set with starters, but Bertrand provides depth and a player capable of becoming a regular on special teams. Bertrand aldo provides a high character player to the Falcon roster.

ROUND 5 – AUDRIC ESTIME, RB – DENVER BRONCOS

Estime was selected with the 147th overall pick, and he was the third Notre Dame player taken in an eight-spot stretch of the fifth round. That run began with Hart and ended with Estime, who becomes the first former Notre Dame player to be taken by the Broncos since they selected Eric Olson back in 2010. Estime was the 11th running back taken in the draft, which was a bit of a surprise to me.

Denver has four running backs currently on the roster, including returning starter Javonte Williams, who was a second round pick of the Broncos back in 2021. Williams led the Broncos in rushing last season, but the second leading rusher at the position is Jaleel McLaughlin, who was an undrafted free agent signing by the Broncos a year ago.

ROUND 7 – JAVONTAE JEAN-BAPTISTE, DE – WASHINGTON COMMANDERS

Jean-Baptiste was taken with the 222nd overall pick. When he was picked it ended a drought of 20 years for Irish players being taken by Washington. The last time a former Notre Dame player got drafted was back in 2004 when offensive lineman Jim Molinaro was taken. That was when the organization was still known as the Redskins. Prior to that the last time a Notre Dame player was taken by Washington was in 1993 when Tom Carter (1st round) and Reggie Brooks (2nd round) were taken by the organization.

Washington currently has eight defensive ends on the roster, so Jean-Baptiste will have a battle on his hands to make the team. If he builds on what he did in his one season with Notre Dame he could have a shot to make the team.

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