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Projecting Every 2024 Notre Dame Draft Pick

Written by: Jhett Garrett | Writer | Twitter/X: @JhettGarrett


Photo by The Irish Tribune


Notre Dame is looking to add to its national lead of players drafted into the NFL, which currently sits at 526. With a lot of talent on the 2023 roster, there is a chance for the Irish to double the amount of players drafted this year than a season ago. And it will start very early.


Joe Alt


6’8, 322 lbs., OT – 1, OVR – 5 (PFF)


There is no question who is going to be the first Notre Dame player off the board in this year’s NFL Draft, and it is going to be rather quick. The four-star prospect from Minnesota dominated since stepping foot on campus, catapulting him up draft big boards. An offensive lineman with a ton of upside is something that every team could always use, however with the opening picks of the draft expected to be quarterbacks, Alt could fall a bit.


If the Los Angeles Chargers stay at five, it is very much a possibility that they take Alt. However, with the losses of Kennan Allen and Mike Williams, it can be assumed that this pick will be used on a wide receiver or traded away.


The Tennessee Titans sit at pick seven, which is where Alt has been mocked the most. With Will Levis entering his second year in the league, the Titans bulked up the receiving core during free agency. This has left many experts to believe that they will draft an offensive lineman with their first-round pick, it will just be a matter of who. Olu Fashanu is another offensive lineman who was initially mocked higher than Alt, however in recent months that has not been the case.


Should the Titans pass on Alt, I find it almost impossible for him to slide past the Chicago Bears and New York Jets at picks nine and 10. However, with Joe Alt sitting at seven, it is the surefire home run pick for the Titans. This allows you to plug Alt in at left tackle where he will play for the next ten years. Alt is the perfect cornerstone for an offensive line, and with his size, skill, and availability, he will be regarded as one of the top picks of this draft.


Projection - Tennessee Titans (Round 1, Pick 7)


Grade – A+

 

Blake Fisher


6’6, 312 lbs., OT - 13, OVR – 73 (PFF)


Blake Fisher was the number one player in the state of Indiana when he committed to Notre Dame back in 2019. He made an impact quickly, immediately getting playing time at both right and left tackle. Fast forward to his junior season, Fisher played all of the snaps at the right tackle position and played well enough to be the 73rd overall player according to PFF.


The earliest I can see Fisher going is San Francisco at the back end of the second round at pick 63. With this being their second pick of the draft, the offensive line could certainly be the pick here. However, this still could be a little high on the board for Fisher to go.


Any team from picks 67-80 could take Fisher with their third-round pick, however with the way that the board is working and teams having a chance to bolster the line earlier on in this draft, the Cincinnati Bengals at pick 80 would be a solid landing spot. Fisher has shown that he can play the left tackle position, which is where I would expect he would move if selected by Cincinnati. I also wouldn’t expect him to start right away and sit behind Orlando Brown Jr., however he would still see valuable snaps.


Projection – Cincinnati Bengals (Round 3, Pick 80)


Grade – B

 



Audric Estime


5’11, 227 lbs., RB - 12, OVR – 123 (PFF)


When it comes to players in this draft that most sources have heavily underrated, Audric Estime is the player I think of the most. With how explosive the four-star New Jersey product was in his final season in South Bend, a lot of Notre Dame fans expected Estime to be ranked higher among running backs.


Regardless of rankings, Estime is more than likely going to be selected in the fourth round where he will have to work his way onto the roster. However, a few destinations could see Estime getting playing time early. Similar to Blake Fisher, the Bengals would be a fun landing spot after the departure of Joe Mixon this past offseason. Zack Moss is RB1 in Cincinnati now, and at pick 115, Estime could be a value pick after going offensive line the round before.


While 115 could be a bit high for Estime, Buffalo at 133 would be extremely attractive for him. He would have a great chance to immediately be RB2 the moment he is drafted behind James Cook and would be the balance that the Bills are looking for in the running back room. The Bills would also have had three other picks before this selection, including 128, meaning it would be a valuable spot to take a depth player such as Audric Estime.


Should he fall past the Bills, he will likely fall to the fifth round, where the Los Angeles Chargers select at pick 140. This could also be a good landing spot for Estime, where he would be behind J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards who are both on “prove-it” contracts. This could be a similar situation to Kyren Williams when he entered the draft and ultimately played himself into being the lead back.


Projection – Buffalo Bills (Round 4, Pick 133)


Grade – B

 

 

Marist Liufau


6’2, 239 lbs., LB – 7, OVR – 138 (PFF)


Heading into the 2024 season, not many people were familiar with the talent that Marist Liufau had. He performed at a high level in 2023, giving Notre Dame fans excitement when he announced his return. Now, he is looking to take his talent to the next level and make an impact in the NFL.


This is once again a spot where I’m looking at the Tennessee Titans, and how they can get involved on Marist Liufau. They need help at the linebacker position, and if they pass on Payton Wilson in round two, it feels like round five would be a great place for a guy like Liufau. Luckily, the Titans pick at 146, and that is a great spot for the seventh-ranked linebacker to fall off the board. Depending on how the board falls, Liufau, along with many other linebackers, could be taken higher than anticipated. However, the Titans at pick 146 feels like a great spot for Liufau at inside or outside linebacker.


Projection – Tennessee Titans (Round 5, Pick 146)


Grade – B-




 

Cam Hart


6’2, 207 lbs., CB – 21, OVR – 156 (PFF)


This year’s draft is expected to have a lot of the cornerback talent taken off the board early on. Five of the top 26 prospects in the 2024 draft are cornerbacks according to PFF, which means talent can fall or rise. When it is projected the five players at one position will be drafted in the first round, I believe these prospects will rise rather than fall. Cam Hart, a three-star prospect out of Maryland is looking to do the same.


The Detroit Lions are projected to address the cornerback position in round one, however with the poor performance from that area last season, it wouldn’t surprise me if they double up and take Hart in the fifth round at pick 164. However, after trading for Carlton Davis, and signing Amik Robertson, if they do decide to draft a corner with their first pick, they might choose to go in another direction in round five.


Just behind the Lions in round five are the New Orleans Saints who have picks 168 and 170. These will be the second and third fifth-round picks that the Saints own in this draft. With their strong need at the cornerback spot, Cam Hart is one of the top candidates to be a selection. It would allow Hart to sit and learn from one of the top corners in the game Marshon Lattimore, and it would be phenomenal for his development.


Projection – New Orleans Saints (Round 5, Pick 175)


Grade – C

 

Javontae Jean-Baptiste


6’4, 260 lbs., EDGE – 18, OVR – 164 (PFF)


After transferring from Ohio State, Javontae Jean-Baptiste became a fan favorite from the moment he stepped on the field in South Bend. He committed to Notre Dame in hopes of developing into a defender who can perform at the next level. He did just that. He tallied five sacks throughout the season, while also picking up 49 total tackles. Now, JJB is looking to take his development at Notre Dame to the next level.


The Seattle Seahawks are going to have to address their issues on the defensive line, and the draft is going to be a solid place to do so. Currently, the Seahawks own the 16th overall pick and could go EDGE there. However, after selecting Boye Mafe from Minnesota in last year’s draft, as well as resigning Leonard Williams, they could go for another position of need in round one. With two sixth-round picks, Seattle could certainly bolster up at the defensive front in this area, setting up for Jean-Baptiste to go out west.


Another team that is set up to take Javontae Jean-Baptiste would be the hometown Indianapolis Colts. As someone who is extremely high on JJB, this would be great value for a young Colts team. While he wouldn’t get that starting role, he could slide in nicely right behind Kwity Paye and Samson Ebukam. It is also possible for Jean-Baptiste to slide to the linebacker position, however that will be a discussion for the team that drafts him to make. This is a pick that has nothing but upside for the Colts and getting it at pick 191 is something that can be looked back on in good conscious for years to come.


Projection – Indianapolis Colts (Round 6, Pick 191)


Grade – B



Other players such as JD Bertrand and Sam Hartman have a chance to hear their name called by the end of the night on Saturday. However, with the way that the board is set up, it feels as if they will have to find their way onto a team as an undrafted free agent. This is more than likely a better option for both Bertrand and Hartman, as it gives them an opportunity to join a team that they feel is best for them.


The 2024 NFL Draft will take place in Detroit this Thursday-Saturday, and start at 8 PM ET




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