Notre Dame Football: Early look at 2021 NFL Draft prospects

Liam Eichenberg (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Liam Eichenberg (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /
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Liam Eichenberg (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

These are the guys I expect to be in the first round discussion 

Offensive Tackle Liam Eichenberg Eichenberg elected to return to Notre Dame along with the rest of the offensive line for 2020, and it is a good thing he did. While I personally believe that he could have risen up draft boards in this past draft, returning for his final year of eligibility should do Liam wonders. In the past, tackles Zack Martin and Mike McGlinchey also returned for their 5th years and they became top 20 selections in the following draft. This can be a similar trajectory for the three-year starter at left tackle.

Eichenberg needs to become a more consistent player in 2020 and really take over an anchor the offensive line turning it into a dominant unit. While he has all the physical tools and athletic profile to be a bookend left tackle in the NFL down the road, another year of development will only help.

It is also worth noting, that every starting left tackle under Brian Kelly at Notre Dame has turned into a top 20 selection the NFL draft. Eichenberg will look to keep that trend alive in 2021.

Linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah (Wu) Wu took over the Rover linebacker spot in Clark Lea’s defense with the departures of Drue Tranquill and Te’von Coney in 2020 and absolutely made the most of it. An absolute freak of an athlete, it shouldn’t be surprising if Wu finds himself on Bruce Feldman’s 2020-2021 college football Freak’s list this upcoming season – much like Julian Okwara last season. In the mold of the new age linebacker, Wu isn’t overly big or a thumper in the middle of the defense. Instead, he wins with speed, length, and overall athleticism.

As the first recruit to be identified by Clark Lea to fill the ROVER spot in his defense, Wu in his first year of starting at the position tied for the team lead in tackles with 80, while leading the team in tackles for loss (13.5) and tying the team lead in sacks (5.5).

With two years of eligibility left, Wu has a decision to make after this upcoming season, but with a repeat year or better, it will be tough to pass on the NFL. He will remind teams of Isaiah Simmons in many ways, and while I am not saying Wu will end up a top 10 pick like Simmons this past year – their games are similar in many ways. I have a feeling the NFL draft community will be raving about him very soon.