3 Notre Dame football players who should be replaced on the depth chart for 2024

FanSided college football writer Josh Yourish believes that the Fighting Irish still have a few weak-spots on their roster and should look for an internal or external upgrade at these three spots.

Duke Blue Devils running back Jaquez Moore (9)
Duke Blue Devils running back Jaquez Moore (9) / Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports
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. EDGE. Jordan Botelho. 12. Senior. Jordan Botelho. . 443. Jordan Botelho. player

Botelho worked his way up from primarily playing special teams in 2022 to starting on the edge in Notre Dame’s viper position. He finished the season with four sacks and 32 total tackles across his 428 snaps, but Freeman may want to have an open competition for Botelho’s viper spot this offseason. 

While he was productive in terms of sacks, sometimes that can be a misleading stat for an edge rusher. Botelho was four on the defense in pass-rush snaps, with 228, but only applied pressure to the opposing passer 18 times, which was sixth most on the unit. That’s a pressure rate of just 7.9%, while Howard Cross III, who played on the interior offense line, managed 39 pressures and a pressure rate of 11.4%. 

Cross was a second-team All-American, but it is much tougher to rush from the interior than the edge. Javontae Jean-Baptiste, who is headed to the NFL and was Notre Dame’s other edge rusher is a more fair comparison. He posted 39 pressures and got pressure on 12.9% of his pass rush snaps. 

2023 was a solid season for Botelho, but it was far from spectacular. In 2022, he managed to post 18 pressures in just 77 pass-rushing snaps. Botelho is best used in a smaller role, not starting down-to-down for the Irish.

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