2017 NFL Draft: The Risk and Reward of Max Redfield


After being dismissed from the Notre Dame football team in August, Max Redfield is declaring for the 2017 NFL draft as one of the riskiest players in college football.

In August, Max Redfield’s career at Notre Dame came to a close after he was arrested along with six other Irish players in a span of a few hours. Redfield, along with Dexter Williams, Te’Veon Coney, Kevin Stepherson, and Ashton White were arrested on August 19 for possession of marijuana. Redfield was also charged with possession of an unlicensed handgun during the arrest.

A day after his arrest, head coach Brian Kelly dismissed Redfield from the team and later that month was no longer enrolled at the University of Notre Dame.


Redfield’s terrible finish to 2016 didn’t end there. On December 20, Redfield’s plea bargain was dismissed after he failed another drug test. Now, the former Irish safety is waiting to hear his sentencing and could face jail time.

Must Read: DeShone Kizer ISN'T Notre Dame's Most NFL Ready Prospect

Redfield comes with a lot of downside. He’s been suspended at Notre Dame at the end of the 2015-2016 season for violating team rules and missed the Irish’s Fiesta Bowl game. Now, he’s facing one of the biggest downfalls of his career, and may never be able to recover from it.

With all that said, Redfield does have an upside. Without all the trouble, many draft experts believed he could have ended up being one of the top safeties in the 2017 draft class.

He isn’t a Jamal Adams or a Jabrill Peppers. His skill set is high, but he still wouldn’t have been the top safety in the draft. But Max Redfield has everything an NFL team wants at the safety position.

His ability to play the ball at the line of scrimmage is relentless. At 6’1, 195-pounds, Redfield has the size to take on running backs and has never been shy to make a tackle. During his three seasons at Notre Dame, Redfield finished with 143 tackles, finishing second on the team in stops during his sophomore campaign.

More from Slap the Sign

Redfield may not be the interception machine he’d like to be. Where he shines is through his athleticism and resilience when attacking a ball carrier. His closing speed and willingness to take on any back/receiver led to plenty of head-rattling hits.

His only downside on the field may be the lack of recognition. Redfield is no “jock” when it comes to intelligence. As an Economics major and Mandarin Chinese minor, Redfield was one of the Irish’s brightest players.

When the ball is in the air, Redfield tries to play the man instead of the ball. Looking for the big hit instead of the interception is where he lacks NFL ability. If he’s given a chance in the next level, he’ll need to develop his in-air instincts.

Now, it’s unclear where Redfield’s future is headed. Although many draft experts have the safety on their draft board, it’s uncertain whether he’ll actually enter the 2017 NFL draft.

There’s a lot of upside to Redfield. He has all the possibility to become another big hitting safety. Modeled after players like Brian Dawkins and John Lynch, Redfield is as appealing on the field as any defensive back entering the draft. Off the field, though, most teams won’t take a chance on him.

Next: The Irish Have a Title Shot in 2017

It’s going to come down to faith. If one team has the slightest bit of confidence that they can keep him out of trouble, Redfield will get his chance once again. That one team may not be out there, though.

There’s a ton of upside in draft Redfield, but right now, he’s still a risk and reward type of player.