MIchael Mayer (#87), “The World’s Greatest College Tight End” is a likely first round draft pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. (Photo: Chad Ryan)

The NFL draft kicks off at 8PM (All times EDT) tonight (Thursday, April 27) with Round #1. It will continue with rounds #2 and #3 tomorrow commencing at 7 PM and conclude Saturday with rounds #4-7 at noon on Saturday. The NFL Network, ABC, ESPN and ESPN Deportes will all provide coverage. 

Notre Dame looks to have two sure fire early round prospects, and two other likely picks, along with several free agent signing candidates. Here is a breakdown with some Fighting Irish Preview predictions:

Michael Mayer: The “world’s greatest college football tight end” as FIP has been fond of calling Mayer is in high demand. Mayer is a rare combination of size, speed route running skill, hands and blocking ability. He will make a lot of money in the NFL. Fighting Irish Preview Prediction: Middle/late 1st round

Isiah Foskey: Success teams in the NFL typically have two things in common: top notch quarterback play and a top notch pass rush. Notre Dame’s all time leader in career sacks will help check one of those boxes for somebody. Foskey is nearly off the charts in terms of his speed and sheer athleticism. Is not however particularly strong and will need to become better against the run. Fighting Irish Preview Prediction: Middle 2nd round.

Jarrett Patterson: Patterson came back for a 4th season with the Irish in 2022 and broadened his resume by moving from center to guard. That flexibility combined with strong fundamentals will land him on an NFL roster. He likely projects as a Center, the position he played for three years at ND. Fighting Irish Preview Prediction: 4th Round

Brandon Joseph: A safety, Joseph played one solid, all though not spectacular year for the Irish after transferring in from Northwestern. Good safeties are always in demand in the NFL and Joseph combines sideline to sideline range with a good football IQ to give him a solid chance of making it in the league. Along the way of his college career he missed some tackles, and his coverage skills will not match up well against elite receivers. Fighting Irish Preview Prediction: 5th round

Projected Free Agent signees

Bo Bauer-2022 Captain, high motor linebacker and special teams warrior. He missed half of his graduate season in 2022 with a knee injury. Might be able to make it in the pros on special teams.

Josh Lugg-He is 6-7, 316 pounds . He played in 49 games at ND and started every game last season at right guard on a formidable offensive line. Someone is going to give him a shot. His downside is that he plays a little too upright to be a great guard, is a a bit slow to play tackle. Maybe he is a center?

Jayson Ademilola-A two year full time starter on the defensive line, last season racked up 29 tackles, 17 quarterback hurries and 4 sacks. If he was a bit quicker he be knocking on the door of being a middle round pick.

Tariq Bracy-full time starter in 2021 and 2022, who racked up 39 tackles each season. Really came on at the nickel position in 2022. When I realized he would be out against USC, I kind of got a sick feeling in my stomach, that feeling was justified.

Other prospects who may get a free agent shot: Blake Grupe K, Jon Sott P, and Justin Ademiola DE.

ByPhil Houk

For over 25 years, bringing you the glory of Notre Dame football.

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