Notre Dame football: Replacing potential 2022 NFL Draft picks

Kyle Hamilton(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Kyle Hamilton(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /
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Notre Dame football
Nov 6, 2021; South Bend, Indiana, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish wide receiver Kevin Austin Jr. (4) runs for a touchdown after a pass reception in the second quarter against the Navy Midshipmen at Notre Dame Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports /

Notre Dame football: Replacing potential 2022 NFL Draft picks

Kevin Austin Jr., Wide Receiver

The Notre Dame football team has a talented wide receiver who is entering the 2022 NFL Draft, and that wide receiver is Kevin Austin Jr. In his final season in South Bend, Austin became the unquestioned WR1 for the Irish, hauling in 48 passes for nearly 900 yards and seven touchdowns in what would prove to be a breakout season for him.

Austin had battled through injuries during the first few seasons of his career in South Bend, so it made sense that he would bolt to the NFL once he put together a solid campaign. Last year, we saw Irish star wideout Ben Skowronek go in the seventh round to the Los Angeles Rams, and he got some solid playing time in Year 1, even playing in the Wild Card round on Monday night.

Replacing Austin will likely be a combination of Avery Davis and Braden Lenzy atop the depth chart, though Lorenzo Styles Jr. has breakout potential in 2022. The wide receiver group is not deep in terms of numbers, but it is deep in terms of talent, though losing Austin is big for the group as a whole.

For the Irish, this is not going to be a banner year in terms of the NFL Draft, as many of their other draft prospects decided to come back to go for a national title this upcoming season. However, they should have a top-5 pick, and possibly the first running back off the board, with some other key guys going on Day 2 or 3 when all is said and done.