Notre Dame Football: Former Irish Players Sign as Undrafted Free Agents


Mar 20, 2014; Notre Dame, IN, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish former football player Tommy Rees throws during Notre Dame pro day at the Guglielmino Athletics Complex. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Notre Dame Football – NFL Draft

Although Notre Dame had eight players selected, several former Notre Dame players went undrafted. They signed free agent contracts with NFL teams. Here is a breakdown of where the former Notre Dame players will attempt to make a team:

Tommy Rees – Washington Redskins

The much maligned Notre Dame Quarterback faces an uphill battle trying to make an NFL team. It was clear in his 4 years at Notre Dame that he did not have the physical tools to play the Quarterback position. However, Rees is extremely advanced mentally. If he makes a team, it will be because he can pick up an NFL offense faster than other Quarterbacks. A lot of teams only carry two Quarterbacks so Rees making a team is probably a dream.

Kona Schwenke – Kansas City Chiefs 

Schwenke was an unsung hero along the defensive line. Tuitt and Nix got much of the attention but Schwenke did a lot of dirty work. Schwenke should have an excellent shot at making an NFL team.

Carlo Calabrese -Cleveland Browns

Calabrese was a productive Linebacker during his career at Notre Dame. However, he always struggled in pass coverage. This limits him to playing on first and second down in the NFL. If he makes a team it will be as a backup Linebacker who can play in run situations.

Dan Fox – New York Giants

Dan Fox was more athletic than his counterpart, Carlo Calabrese. However, he never really developed the instincts needed to play Linebacker. Fox did not develop those instincts over the past three years. He is unlikely to develop them as a player attempting to make an NFL team.

George Atkinson – Oakland Raiders

Atkinson will make the Oakland Raiders. If he cannot make it as a Running Back, he will make the team as a kick returner. Atkinson has the physical tools to develop as an All-Pro Running Back if he could ever run north and south. Because he will make the team as a returner, he may have time to develop those skills.