Notre Dame football could have the first running back drafted

The Notre Dame football team watched Audric Estime get underestimated all season long, but he seems to finally be getting his due.

Notre Dame Fighting Irish running back Audric Estime
Notre Dame Fighting Irish running back Audric Estime / D. Ross Cameron-USA TODAY Sports
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One of the weirder parts of the Notre Dame football team this season is how it sometimes appeared as if they were completely misusing Audric Estime. There are all kinds of reasons why that might be the case, including a certain offensive coordinator who is no longer in South Bend.

The only thing weirder than the way the Irish sometimes used Estime, is how criminally underrated he was by the rest of the college football world. It would appear at least that particular oversight has been fixed.

Pro Football Focus recently put together a social media post talking about the players who could be the first running back taken in the 2024 NFL Draft. Unsurprisingly, Estime was on that list and a quick glance at the others should have most people voting for the former Notre Dame football star.

In addition to Estime, the candidates for first RB1 off the board includes Florida State’s Trey Benson, Michigan’s Blake Corum, Oregon’s Bucky Irving, and Texas’ Jonathan Brooks.

That group is certainly an impressive one. However, when it comes to judging how Audric Estime was used by the Notre Dame football team and then looking at how most of the other guys on the list were RB1 all alone, the former Irish star stands out.

Despite splitting quite a bit of time with the Notre Dame stable of backs, Estime finished the season with the most rushing yards of any of the backs mentioned, totaling 1,341. Corum was the next closest with 1,245.

Notre Dame football could have the first running back drafted

Regarding touchdowns, Corum led the pack with a mind-boggling 27 touchdown runs. However, Estime wasn’t that far behind with 18. 

There isn’t a bad pick on the list. All five seen like running backs that will make some noise in the NFL. But when looking at that group, the Notre Dame football star looks like the best choice for first RB1 off the draft board.