The Class of 2012 comes into the rankings at No. 4. It was another class with plenty of untapped potential that Irish fans would’ve loved to see in the NFL.
With two 1st round picks, the Class of 2012 was always going to make the list. Michael Floyd and Harrison Smith were Notre Dame’s two first-rounders, selected at picks 13 (Cardinals) and 29 (Vikings) respectively. Not to mention the two other former ND stars, Robert Blanton and Darius Fleming, who were also drafted in 2012 to the Vikings and 49ers in the 5th round.
How Michael Floyd did not end up being successful in the NFL is something that still baffles me to this day. Floyd was one of the most talented players the University of Notre Dame’s football program had ever seen, yet he threw it all away. Floyd could never seem to keep himself out of trouble, and it ultimately cost him a very bright future in the NFL. He has been arrested on multiple occasions in both his time at Notre Dame and in the NFL, more often than naught for drunk-driving.
Harrison Smith, unlike Floyd, took his chance in the NFL and ran with it. Smith is a 3-time Pro Bowler, and was named First-team All-Pro for the 2017 season. Smith has comfortably solidified himself as one of the best, if not the best, safety in all of football. He has established himself as a perennial Pro-Bowler and a Viking fan favorite who will hold down their defense for years to come.