Notre Dame football: 2021 UDFA rookies in a perfect spot entering Year 2

GLENDALE, ARIZONA - JANUARY 01: A closeup of a Notre Dame Fighting Irish helmet during the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl against the Oklahoma State Cowboys at State Farm Stadium on January 01, 2022 in Glendale, Arizona. The Cowboys defeated the Fighting Irish 37-35. (Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images)
GLENDALE, ARIZONA - JANUARY 01: A closeup of a Notre Dame Fighting Irish helmet during the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl against the Oklahoma State Cowboys at State Farm Stadium on January 01, 2022 in Glendale, Arizona. The Cowboys defeated the Fighting Irish 37-35. (Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit

The Notre Dame football team saw multiple players drafted in the 2021 NFL Draft, but two undrafted players are in a perfect spot entering Year 2.

It was a banner draft year for the Notre Dame football team in 2021, as nine former members of the Irish heard their names called across the three-day event. While that was a staggering number, the Irish did not have a first-rounder again, as issues surrounding Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah’s health clouded Day 1.

JOK would end up going on Day 2, and playing like a first-round pick, proving to be a steal for the Cleveland Browns. While the nine players selected were a tremendous number, other draft prospects were coming out last year, including two who ended up finding the right place to be in as they enter the second year of their NFL careers.

As undrafted rookie free agents, the mountain is tall in terms of making the team out of camp, and while Tommy Kraemer and Nick McCloud did not, they have set themselves up to possibly earn starting jobs in 2022.

Notre Dame football rookie UDFAs to make their move in 2022

Entering their second season in the league, both players are listed as backups at their respective positions but are both in a spot where they could earn a starting job this spring and summer. McCloud is with the Buffalo Bills, one of the best teams in the AFC, but one that needs help at the cornerback position.

Kraemer was able to stay on with the Detroit Lions, and he got some regular-season experience last season, which could prove crucial for him entering Year 2. The Lions are trying to still figure things out in Dan Campbell’s second year at the helm, and he must have seen something in Kraemer to keep him around last year.

In 2022, Kyle Hamilton is expected to go in the first round, but outside of him, there are not many guaranteed NFL Draft prospects coming out. That means we could see guys like Kevin Austin Jr., Jack Coan, and even Kurt Hinish latch on as undrafted rookies, but as we have seen with McCloud and Kraemer, chase the dream.