We are on the cusp of the 2020 NFL Draft, and this will be an unusual year to say the least. Regardless of the manner of the draft, we are still expecting a handful of former Notre Dame Fighting Irish players to be drafted — and another handful to become UDFAs.
We’re going to take a quick look at both handfuls over the next whatever hours, as we get ready for the big weekend ahead.
Khalid Kareem — DEFENSIVE END
Kareem was once a commit for the Alabama Crimson Tide, but the Michigan native changed his mind and signed with the Irish as a 4-Star prospect. Like a lot of players on the line, Kareem spent his freshman year as primarily a special teams player in only four game appearances.
As a sophomore, Khalid worked himself into the rotation at defensive end and recorded 21 tackles with 5.5 TFL and 3 sacks. Over the course of his junior and senior seasons, Kareem had similar years on the field that amounted to a two year total of 88 tackles with 20.5 TFL, and 10 sacks. He was a captain in 2019, and showed incredible toughness by playing with a torn labrum in the last half of the season.
How does he fit in the NFL?
Kareem is very much a 4-3 defensive end and will be a valuable addition to most team’s depth chart. He will have to prove that he is able to get pressure on the quarterback with more technique than raw power in the NFL. Kareem used the latter a lot at Notre Dame, but film will show that a lot of times he was being dragged down by an uncalled hold — which is still something that technique can help avoid.
Where will he go?
Kareem was the better football player during his time in South Bend than his counterpart Julian Okwara, but Khalid is probably valued less by NFL teams. Still, Kareem is a prospect that can add tremendous value to the right team and the right fit with his size and his work ethic.
PROJECTION: 3rd Round
Kareem was one of “my guys” in South Bend over the last few years. He gave everything he had, and was very productive on the field as a relentless defender. Other EDGE players hold more value in the draft — and I get that, but I still don’t see Kareem slipping past the 3rd round.