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The NFL Combine: Which Irish Players Have the Biggest Opportunity to Improve Their Stock?

Updated: Mar 2

Written by Liam Farrell|Senior Staff Writer|Twitter/X: @LiamFarrell_IT

Via The Irish Tribune

INDIANAPOLIS - As the NFL Combine testing officially starts tomorrow, eight former Notre Dame players will have the chance to boost their draft stock. 

The eight players include quarterback Sam Hartman, running back Audric Estime, offensive linemen Joe Alt and Blake Fisher, linebackers JD Bertrand and Marist Liufau, EDGE rusher Javontae Jean-Baptiste, and cornerback Cam Hart. 

While all players will have the opportunity to showcase their talents, the players who will have the biggest opportunity to improve their draft stock are Estime, Hart, and Hartman. 

Audric Estime is a physical beast. If an NFL scout looks at Estime's game film, the first thing that jumps off the screen is all 227 pounds of hard-nosed running. The numbers also don't lie. During his dominant junior season, Estime totaled 1,341 yards, while adding on 18 touchdowns and never coughing up a fumble. He also displayed that he could be an every-down back, having four 20+ carry games his junior year.

The reason why Estime could cement and improve his draft stock is simply based on his 40-yard dash time. If Estime proves he can be more than a North-and-South, third-down back runner, then the Nyack, N.Y, native can hear his name called on the first two days. The 40-yard dash also, frankly, hindered the draft stock of recent Notre Dame superstar Kyren Williams, who fell to the Rams in the fifth round mainly because of his 4.65-second time. 

The next player who has the opportunity to raise their draft stock this weekend is cornerback Cam Hart. Hart, who has great physical intangibles for a cornerback, is in a similar boat as Estime, in which a speedy 40-yard dash time could raise his stock. Hart had his best statistical season last year for the Fighting Irish, as he played the opposite side of the field to that of All-American Benjamin Morrison. 

Hart was an unsung hero in the Notre Dame secondary that received immense national recognition last season. Hart played his best games against top competition as well, rising to the challenge of guarding USC’s Mario Williams and Ohio State’s Emeka Egbuka. Hart also developed the knack and perfected the art of Charles Tillman’s Peanut Punch, as he forced three fumbles during his 2023 campaign. With already great physical tools and a potentially fast 40-yard dash time, the former high school wide receiver could boost his draft stock tremendously.

This brings me to the last player who has possibly the greatest opportunity to boost his appeal: Sam Hartman. Hartman had a good year last year, as he had career-bests in completion percentage and interceptions. However, Hartman still struggled with the turnover bug, having three multi-turnover games, and was incapable of calming the offense down in road environments. While the playcalling cannot be attributed to Hartman, the second-half offensive showings in the road losses to Clemson and Louisville were both horrific.


In Indianapolis, Hartman has the luxury of other top quarterback prospects opting out of throwing during the NFL combine. With most NFL executives, scouts, and coaches in attendance, Hartman could elevate his last-day draft projection with a good showing at the combine. Unlike Estime and Hart, Hartman doesn’t need to focus as much on the physical tests, as he isn’t particularly known for his athleticism. 


If Hartman has an above-average throwing day and shows the coaches and scouts in attendance that he is a top 6 quarterback in this year’s draft, Hartman could be selected on Day 2.

Which Golden Domer has the best NFL Combine performance?

  • Sam Hartman

  • Audric Estime

  • Joe Alt

  • Blake Fisher



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