Notre Dame football: Kyren Williams could be highest-drafted Irish RB since Julius Jones

The Notre Dame football team had a star at running back in 2020 and 2021, and he could find himself selected very high in the 2022 NFL Draft this April.

Across the last two seasons, the Notre Dame football team has been blessed to have Kyren Williams as their starting running back. The two-year starter ran wild over the college football landscape, putting together back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons, and helping the Irish to over 20 wins in the process.

When the 2021 season ended with the Irish losing to Oklahoma State in the Fiesta Bowl, it was time for Williams to say goodbye to South Bend, as he made it known that he would enter the 2022 NFL Draft. Now that he is preparing for the draft, Williams has a chance to be the highest-drafted Irish running back since 2004, when Julius Jones was the No. 43 overall pick to the Dallas Cowboys.

Jones was an absolute monster during his time with the Irish, rushing for 3,018 yards, good enough for sixth all-time. His 2003 season was as special as they come, as he notched three of the top-9 single-game rushing records, including the most ever in a game when he rushed for 262 yards against Pitt.

All told, Jones capped his career with the Irish with a 1,268-yard season, one that saw him find the end zone ten times. At the NFL level, Jones rushed for nearly 3,000 yards across his first three seasons in Dallas and played in the league for seven seasons.

Notre Dame football star could be second running back off the board

While Williams is not seen as a player who will be drafted at No. 43 overall, he is being mocked in the 50s, which would make him a mid-second round pick. That would be the highest an Irish running back has been selected since Jones, and with a solid draft season, he could go even further, possibly as one of the first players taken on Day 2.

No matter the case, Williams will be drafted on Day 2, as many feel he has the complete package to be a three-down back at the next level. Irish fans would have loved to see him come back in 2022, but he is going to be very fun to watch in the NFL, as he should be an instant impact player in Year 1.