Quintet of Notre Dame football players make Mel Kiper's big board

Joe Alt leads the pack as far as Fighting Irish players, who the draft guru thinks could go early this spring.
Notre Dame's Joe Alt during Notre Dame Fall Camp
Notre Dame's Joe Alt during Notre Dame Fall Camp / John Mersits / USA TODAY NETWORK

Now that the 2023 Notre Dame football season has officially wrapped up, it’s time to turn our thoughts to which Fighting Irish stars are going to be selected in the 2024 NFL Draft. As it turns out, there are quite a few to choose from, and most are considered near the top of the list for their positions.

Mel Kiper released his first official Big Board on Friday, and five Golden Domers made the cut. That included at least one player who so far hasn’t even said he will be available for the draft.

Front and center for the Irish was a bit of a no-brainer pick. Joe Alt has long been thought to be the first Notre Dame football player to be taken in this spring’s draft. Kiper has Alt ranked as the #2 offensive tackle and 9th best player overall.

“Alt started 33 games at left tackle for the Fighting Irish… and I was most impressed by his technique on a snap-to-snap basis,” Kiper said in his blurb about the offensive lineman. “He rarely gets caught out. He mirrors well in pass protection, adjusting easily to secondary moves from edge rushers. And he does a great job keeping his huge frame between the defender and his quarterback. In his career, he allowed just 16 total pressures in more than 1,000 pass-block snaps.”

Kiper believes only that Penn State offensive tackle Olumuyiwa Fashanu is a better NFL prospect at their position. In addition to Alt, Kiper ranked Blake Fisher as the 10th best tackle on the draft board.

Notre Dame football players get love on Mel Kiper’s Big Board

It should come as no surprise that another Notre Dame football player who got quite of love from the ESPN personality was Audric Estime. Baby Bus ranked as the third-best running back in the draft behind only Texas’ Jonathan Brooks and Florida State’s Trey Benson. 

On the defensive side, Kiper considers Marist Liufau the 8th best off-ball linebacker but there was one addition that was quite interesting indeed. 

The draft guru ranked tight end Mitchell Evans as the 7th best tight end on his board despite the fact that Evans has given no indication that he’s leaving the Notre Dame football program.