We are only one game into the season, but the draft talent on this Notre Dame football team is undeniable.
Heading into the year, we knew some of the guys that could potentially hear their names called in the 2019 NFL Draft. Notre Dame has some dominant seniors and some compelling underclassmen. What we didn’t know, however, was just how good most of these guys were. The Michigan game gave us much needed clarity. The stock is rising for many of the players on the Notre Dame football team.
Prominent Names on Defense
Jerry Tillery, Te’von Coney, Drue Tranquill and Julian Love. Four names come to mind when thinking about pre-season draft talk. Three seniors, and one junior who’s already a two time All-American.
A player that has always had the physical ability, but immaturity and inconsistent play have held him back. If the Michigan game is any indication, he has put that all behind him and has become one of the most dominant defensive lineman in college football. With a loaded defensive line group prepared to enter the 2019 NFL Draft, Tillery’s name has always been sorta lost in the shuffle. If he continues his dominant play, first or early second round talk is warranted. Bleacher Report’s Senior Draft Expert and one of the better draft minds in the industry called Tillery the most impressive Week 1 player.
After a breakout junior campaign, Coney toyed with idea of turning pro but came back to improve his draft stock. Last season, Coney was taken off during clear passing situations, but this has been position of great focus for him during the off-season. He’s not the athletic freak like Jaylon Smith and he’s doesn’t posses the elite level instincts quite like Manti Te’o, but both traits are certainly well above average. Coney should be one of the first off-ball linebackers off the board in the 2019 draft.
The medical history is hard to ignore, but hopefully after this season Tranquill will be three years removed from his last major injury. His biggest strengths are his instincts, speed and coverage ability, but he might be a bit of a tweener at the next level. For these reasons, I’m not sure Tranquill be a high draft pick, but whoever takes the shot on him should come out with a sleeper pick. It’s hard to see this kid failing.
Not much to report after Week 1, but the junior corner didn’t do anything that should disappoint fans. His best position at the pro level might be at safety, but regardless, he’s another player I don’t see failing. As the season progresses, more and more NFL experts will understand why he should be so highly regarded.