A number of Notre Dame players were picked up by NFL teams as undrafted free agents. Who among them has the best chance of making a 53-man roster?
While there was an outside chance that former Notre Dame players safety Jalen Elliott and wide receiver Chris Finke would be drafted, it was always much more likely that they would be undrafted free agents along with Asmar Bilal, Jamir Jones, Donte Vaughn, and Tony Jones Jr.
Some of these guys have better chances to make NFL rosters than others, but clearly an organization saw potential in each of the above players and decided to take a shot on them.
It is not very common for players that sign as undrafted free agents to actually make the 53-man roster for the team that signs them after the draft, but there is a solid chance that a few former Notre Dame players do make the roster.
Among the most likely, are Jamir Jones, Chris Finke, and Jalen Elliott. They are grouped together here because they all have just about the same chance and opportunity to make the squad on their individual teams. Jones was signed by the Houston Texans, Finke by the San Francisco 49ers, and Elliott by the Detroit Lions.
Each of those three players is supremely talented and athletic but also can serve very well on special teams, where fringe players normally find themselves on the field. Finke showed his value as a solid punt/kick returner the past few seasons, and Jones actually led the team in special teams tackles for Notre Dame.
As for the rest of the undrafted free agents, I do not necessarily expect them to make a roster immediately, but I could see them being signed in the preseason or during the NFL season as injuries are bound to happen.
At the moment, Asmar Bilal and Donte Vaughn are with the Los Angeles Chargers, and Tony Jones Jr. is with the New Orleans Saints.
Bilal and Vaughn will have a tough time cracking the 53-man in Los Angeles, but the word is that many people within the Saints organization have taken a liking to Tony Jones Jr. He could potentially provide a power running game next to Alvin Kamara who is more shifty and speedy.
It will be interesting to see how each of the former Notre Dame player’s careers progress at the next level. Each of these prospects brings a specific skill set to their respective teams that could potentially earn them a spot on their team’s 53-man roster.