The first round of the 2019 NFL Draft is in the books. With the 28th pick, the Los Angeles Chargers added to the impressive amount of draft picks for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish during the Brian Kelly era, by selecting defensive tackle Jerry Tillery.
Most people had Tillery picked to go at some point at the end of the first round while a handful of others predicted an early second round announcement. What did Tillery’s pick mean in terms of the overall picture for the Irish and the NFL Draft? Michael Bertsch, Director of Football Media Relations at Notre Dame said it best in a string of tweets:
Former @NDFootball DT Jerry Tillery is the first Notre Dame DT selected in the NFL Draft’s opening round since Bryant Young (No. 7 overall of the San Francisco 49ers) in 1994...#BertschyBits#NFLDraftDay— Michael Bertsch (@NDsidBertschy) April 26, 2019
Tillery is the 69th former Irish player to be drafted in the first round of the NFL Draft... https://t.co/UtIVr8nnIW— Michael Bertsch (@NDsidBertschy) April 26, 2019
Nine @NDFootball players have been selected in the first round of the NFL Draft under @CoachBrianKelly (all since 2012), which ranks as the fourth-most in the FBS over the span...#BertschyBits https://t.co/2nohcaKsHu— Michael Bertsch (@NDsidBertschy) April 26, 2019
With Tillery going in today's first round, the Irish have produced as many first-round picks (nine) since 2012 than Oklahoma (four) and Michigan (five) combined... https://t.co/UtIVr85Mkm— Michael Bertsch (@NDsidBertschy) April 26, 2019
Now that we have the first round out of the way, we can dive into the rest of the draft. Rounds 2 and 3 begin Friday night, and these could be big rounds for Notre Dame players.
Love is most likely the next Irish player to have his name called, but with Deandre Baker being the only cornerback drafted in the first round, it may take a while. Love is graded below other players such as Greedy Williams and Byron Murphy. While the 2nd round is still a very good possibility, he could slip into the 3rd.
Boykin blew up the NFL Combine, and over the course of the evaluations has impressed the NFL teams on several levels. With only two receivers picked in the 1st round, it’s hard to say where exactly Boykin will go — or when. The 3rd round seems like a very possible landing spot.
Coney’s stock has dropped considerably since the combine and pro day. While a 3rd round selection wouldn’t be all that surprising, it’s more likely that he slips to rounds 4 or 5.
Despite excellent film, and one of the best combine performances for a linebacker — Tranquill doesn’t appear to be very high on many boards. As the saying goes, however, it takes just one team to fall in love with a prospect. Tranquill may have done enough top get that kind of love and could go in the 3rd, or maybe fall as far as the 6th.
The draft will continue on Friday at 7 PM on ESPN, ABC, NFL Network, and ESPN2. We’ve seen weirder things than what goes on in the draft, so regardless of anyone’s opinion (including my own) the unexpected will happen.