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Notre Dame Football Recruiting And The NFL Draft From 2007-2017

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A quick look at the numbers.

NFL: Cleveland Browns at Pittsburgh Steelers Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

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

Player/Picks Class Star Rating Draft Round Overall Team
Player/Picks Class Star Rating Draft Round Overall Team
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

NOTES

  • 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.