The acquisition of talent has long been of extreme importance to fans of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. It’s for good reason, obviously. In college football, it’s usually the team with the most talent that wins the most football games... usually.
One of the better ways to determine how much talent a team has, is to look at the NFL Draft. Usually the college football programs that are winning the most games and titles are the ones that are sending boatloads to the NFL via the draft.
That talent pipeline begins with recruiting. The Irish have done fairly well over the past decade when it comes to recruiting and when it comes to sending players to the NFL. They aren’t on the same level as the Ohio State Buckeyes or Alabama Crimson Tide, but it is still very, very respectable.
So let’s take a look at what Notre Dame has sent to the NFL - and more specifically; recruits from the 2007-2014 classes.
ND’s 2007-2014 Recruits In NFL Draft
|Jimmy Clausen||2007||5||2010||2||48||Carolina Panthers|
|Golden Tate||2007||4||2010||2||60||Seattle Seahawks|
|Harrison Smith||2007||4||2012||1||29||Minnesota Vikings|
|Michael Floyd||2008||5||2012||1||13||Arizona Cardinals|
|Kyle Rudolph||2008||5||2011||2||43||Minnesota Vikings|
|Darius Fleming||2008||4||2012||5||165||San Francisco 49ers|
|Robert Blanton||2008||4||2012||5||139||Minnesota Vikings|
|Kapron Lewis-Moore||2008||4||2013||6||200||Baltimore Ravens|
|Jamoris Slaughter||2008||4||2013||6||175||Cleveland Browns|
|Manti Te'o||2009||5||2013||2||38||San Diego Chargers|
|Chris Watt||2009||4||2014||3||89||San Diego Chargers|
|Tyler Eifert||2009||3||2013||1||21||Cincinnati Bengals|
|Zack Martin||2009||4||2014||1||16||Dallas Cowboys|
|Zeke Motta||2009||4||2013||7||244||Atlanta Falcons|
|Theo Riddick||2009||4||2013||6||199||Detroit Lions|
|TJ Jones||2010||4||2014||6||189||Detroit Lions|
|Prince Shembo||2010||3||2014||4||139||Atlanta Falcons|
|Bennett Jackson||2010||3||2014||6||187||New York Giants|
|Louis Nix||2010||4||2014||3||83||Houston Texans|
|Stephon Tuitt||2011||4||2014||2||46||Pittsburgh Steelers|
|Ben Koyack||2011||4||2015||7||229||Jacksonville Jaguars|
|Troy Niklas||2011||4||2014||2||52||Arizona Cardinals|
|Nick Martin||2011||3||2014||2||50||Houston Texans|
|Sheldon Day||2012||4||2016||4||103||Jacksonville Jaguars|
|Ronnie Stanley||2012||4||2016||1||6||Baltimore Ravens|
|KeiVarae Russell||2012||4||2016||3||74||Kansas City Chiefs|
|CJ Prosise||2012||4||2016||3||90||Seattle Seahawks|
|Jaylon Smith||2013||5||2016||2||34||Dallas Cowboys|
|Isaac Rochell||2013||4||2017||7||225||L.A. Chargers|
|Will Fuller||2013||4||2016||1||21||Houston Texans|
|DeShone Kizer||2014||4||2017||2||52||Cleveland Browns|
- 31 Players have been drafted.
- 7 1st rounders
- 16 Teams have picked a Notre Dame player.
- Five 5 Star recruits have been drafted, but only Michael Floyd went in the 1st round.
- Four 3 Star recruits have been drafted, and only Tyler Eifert went in the 1st round.
- Twenty-two 4 Star recruits have been drafted with five of them going in the 1st round (Will Fuller, Harrison Smith, Zack Martin, and Ronnie Stanley).
- The Houston Texans, Cleveland Browns, and Los Angles Chargers have all selected 3 players.
- A 3 Star player hasn’t been drafted since 2014 when 3 were drafted (Prince Shembo, Nick Martin, and Bennett Jackson).
- 2014-2017 saw 18 Notre Dame players get drafted while 1990-1993 had 31 ( 7 more were drafted but in rounds 8-12).
- 2014-2017 had 3 1st rounders while 1990-1993 had 6 1st rounders.
IT NEVER ENDS
Now, that was just a very basic look at Notre Dame’s recruiting classes and its fate with the NFL Draft. There is still a large amount of data points we could insert into this discussion - and perhaps we will some time.
Unfortunately, I ran out of time and was unable to provide any kind of comparison. A crude look gives Ohio State 11 1st rounders and Alabama 21 1st rounders in this same time period.
We can offer a very obvious DUH, and say that Notre Dame is not producing the same type of talent as the elite schools in college football are right now. For recruiting nuts, the big number here is that only FOUR 3 Star recruits were drafted in this period - something that many seem to ignore.
Notre Dame will continue to recruit well, and put players in the NFL, but they could certainly do better , and doing better should mean more wins on the field.