Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

2014 NFL Draft Coverage

Providing you updates on all the Notre Dame players drafted into the NFL this year.

  • Live
10 Total Updates since May 10, 2014
  • Important 9
  • Updates 4
  • Articles 6
  • All Updates 10

Numerous Irish Players Sign Free Agent Deals

Notre Dame had 8 players picked in the 2014 NFL Draft: OT Zack Martin, DE Stephon Tuitt, TE Troy Niklas, DT Louis Nix, OG Chris Watt, LB Prince Shembo, CB Bennett Jackson, and WR TJ Jones.

Although they were not picked in the NFL Draft several other players will get a shot to make a roster via free agent deals that were signed late Saturday night.

The odds are really low that any free agent rookie will make a roster but you never know. If anyone is a fan of these teams chime in on what you think the chances are of any of these players making a roster.

Obviously, there will be plenty of attention paid to Tommy Rees heading to Washington. With RG3, Kirk Cousins, and Colt McCoy already under contract it would seem near impossible to make the team.

We'll see how George Atkinson fares on his father's old team, as well. Can he make the team as a return specialist?


TJ Jones Drafted 189th Overall by Detroit

Notre Dame receiver TJ Jones was the 8th player from South Bend taken in the NFL Draft on Saturday. The lightning quick wideout was selected by the Detroit Lions in the 6th round and 189th overall pick.

4 years ago One Foot Down was certain Jones would be an impact freshman in Brian Kelly's first year as head coach at Notre Dame and he didn't disappoint with a solid 23 receptions, 306 yards, and 3 touchdowns. Often overshadowed by Michael Floyd or Tyler Eifert for the bulk of his career Jones had to wait until his senior season to really blossom as a go-to No. 1 receiver.

Named one of the team's captains prior to the 2013 season, he came through with a tremendous season totaling 70 receptions, 1,108 yards, and 9 touchdowns while also breathing life into the punt return game and scoring 2 rushing touchdowns.

Congratulations to TJ and his famil! You can read more on Jones' pick on SB Nation's Detroit Lions blog Pride of Detroit.


Bennett Jackson Drafted 187th Overall by the G-Men

Bennett Jackson was the 7th player from Notre Dame taken in the NFL Draft on Saturday. The speedy corner who might be moved to safety at the next level was plucked by the New York Giants with the 11th pick in the 6th round and 187th overall in the entire draft.

Recruited as an athlete by Brian Kelly in the transition class of 2010, Jackson was a special teams star early in his career who made some big hits and returned 29 kickoffs for 645 yards. As a sophomore he was usurped at kick returner by George Atkinson III but remained a valuable member on special teams as a sure tackler.

Heading into 2012 he was converted to corner and ended up starting for one of the country's best defenses. That year he turned a lot of heads with 65 tackles, 4 interceptions, and 4 pass breakups. Jackson's stock was sky high before the 2013 season but a disappointing season likely marred by an undisclosed injury really hurt his chances at a high pick in this spring's draft.

Nevertheless, he'll get a chance to make the Giants roster this summer and live out a dream. Congratulations to Bennett and his family! You can read more about Jackson's pick at SB Nation's New York Giants blog Big Blue View.


Prince Shembo Drafted 139th Overall by Atlanta

Most experts had Prince Shembo destined to be drafted late but he becomes another Irish player to surprise sneaking inside the 4th round with a selection by the Atlanta Falcons and the 139th pick overall.

Like many of his teammates also hearing their names called, Shembo had a very impressive 2012 and a somewhat disappointing 2013. The four-year player began his career trying to play the drop outside linebacker position as a true freshman but moved to the pass rushing role from this sophomore year onward.

Shembo blossomed in his role as an undersized pass rusher in the beginning of 2012 with a strong game against Michigan. From there he was a steady force against the run and solid athlete in space. Over his final two years at Notre Dame he totaled 99 tackles, 16 tackles for loss, and 13 sacks.

Congratulations to Prince and his family! You can read more about Shembo's pick on SB Nation's Atlanta Falcons blog The Falcoholic.


Chris Watt Drafted 89th Overall by San Diego

The quiet and workman-like guard surprises many with a late 3rd round selection.


Louis Nix Drafted 83rd Overall by Houston

Irish Chocolate has found a new home.


Troy Niklas Drafted 52nd Overall by Arizona

The hulking tight end will now be teammates with former Irish receiver Michael Floyd.


Stephon Tuitt Drafted 46th Overall by Pittsburgh

Tuitt leaves Notre Dame with 19.5 sacks in his college career.


Zack Martin Drafted 16th Overall by the Cowboys

The Irish captain moves on to the NFL following a stellar career in college.

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