Notre Dame Football: Javon McKinley to help with rebuild in Detroit

After going undrafted in the 2021 NFL Draft, Notre Dame football WR Javon McKinley was signed by the Detroit Lions on Sunday.

The 2021 NFL Draft was a wild one for the Notre Dame Football program, as it started on a low note, with no players selected in the first round, but ended in a flurry. All told, the Irish saw nine of their players selected across Days 2 and 3 on Friday and Saturday, and after the draft, more members realized their NFL dreams.

We had predicted that as many as ten members of this Notre Dame Football program would be drafted, and we came close with nine hearing their name called. After the draft, we started to see more players land in the NFL, as Shaun Crawford was signed by the Las Vegas Raiders, and one other 2020 star went to the Motor City.

Notre Dame Football star lands in Detroit

Rumors were circulating after the 2021 NFL Draft that the Detroit Lions were trying to move up in the draft to land one of the star wide receivers in this draft class. The wideout group for 2021 was very top-heavy, with as many as six guys considered first-round talents.

However, when it came to the Notre Dame wideouts, there were really only two in consideration to get drafted at all, Ben Skowronek and Javon McKinley. While Skowronek heard his name called in the seventh round, landing in Los Angeles with the Rams, McKinley would sign with Detroit as a UDFA, joining the Rams former quarterback in Jared Goff.

This is actually a solid spot for McKinley, as Lions’ star wideout from last year, Kenny Golladay, is now playing for the New York Giants, and the team as a whole is going through a rebuild. They have a fiery new head coach in Dan Campbell and based on the roster, McKinley will have a legitimate chance to make this team coming out of camp.

In an NFC North that is dominated by the Green Bay Packers, the Lions are trying to establish an identity, and getting Penei Sewell in the first round to protect Goff was a steal. For McKinley, he has to go in and do what he has always done, and that is working his way up the depth chart, and take advantage of any opportunity thrown his way.