Joe Alt in 2022 doing his thing. (Photo: Chad Ryan)

The 2024 NFL Draft kicks off this Thursday night, April 25. The first evening will commence at 8 p.m. ET, and will be the first round only. Night two will commence on Friday at 7 p.m. ET for rounds 2-3. Rounds 4-7 will be on Saturday beginning at noon ET.

Since the NFL draft was initiated in 1936, Notre Dame has had 525 players drafted. That’s more than any other school. This year ND is poised to add to that number. What follows is a breakdown of all of ND’s likely draft prospects, and a draft prediction for each.

1.Joe Alt In pre draft prognostications the 6-9, 321 pound left tackle is slated to go in the top 10 overall on just about everyone’s board. His father John Alt played tackle for 13 seasons for the Kansas City Chiefs and was a first round draft pick (21st overall) himself in 1984.  Size, speed, strength and football IQ; this three year starter and two time All-American is about to become a very rich man. Prediction: 1st round, 7th overall to the Tennessee Titans.

2. Blake Fisher ND’s “other” tackle, he came into ND as a more highly touted prospect than Alt and started in his first game as a true freshman. But his development was slowed by injury in that first action. That said Fisher has ALL the tools, and is particularly good at run blocking. Pro Football Focus (PFF) suggests he needs to improve on his pass protection. Prediction: Round 2

3. Marist Liufau A still developing instinctual linebacker,  with a reputation for attacking ball carriers and blockers with bad intentions. Battled injuries early in his ND career, but played a lot of snaps the last two seasons. Prediction: Round 4

4. Audric Estime You watched him, I watched him, it is hard to imagine that there are a lot of prospects out there that can run the football any better. Great size at 230 pounds, but a lack of top end speed means he is not likely to hit a lot of NFL “home runs”. But I think some team is going to be very happy with him hitting a lot of line drive doubles. Good at pass protection, and also catches the ball well. Prediction: Round 4

5. Cam Hart Overshadowed by the great play of cornerback Ben Morrison the last two years, Hart has excellent length at 6-3 and despite being slowed by shoulder injuries, was a shutdown corner for most of his career. In fact, you didn’t hear as name a lot, and that is a good thing. Prediction: Round 4

6. JD Bertrand Smart and competitive, Bertrand led ND in tackling three consecutive years. He has more speed than you think but at 6-1, 230 he is a bit undersized. A natural for special teams, and maybe more. Prediction: Round 5

7. Jevontae Jean Baptiste the one year grad transfer rental from Ohio State, he racked up 38 pressures in 2023 and according to PFF was a top five run defender from the edge position. At 6-5, 260 pounds he may need to pack on some more armour to find success in the NFL but he has the athletic skills to play. Prediction : Round 7

8. Sam Hartman Lack of arm strength and physical strength/size are working against him but 134 touchdown pases, 3rd most in college football history and pretty good mobility means someone is going to give him a shot. Prediction: Undrafted Free Agent

9. Thomas Harper Showed versatility last year as a grad transfer for the Irish as a safety, nickel, and occasionally rushing the passer. He felt snubbed when not invited to the NFL combine, but made up for it with an excellent pro day. Prediction: Undrafted Free Agent

If Alt does go in the top ten overall, he will be the first ND player to do so since 2018. That year Guard Quenton Nelson went 6th overall to the Indianapolis Colts, and tackle Mike McGlinchey went 9th to the San Francisco 49ers.

Live coverage of the NFL draft will be all over the dial. ABC, ESPN, ESPN Deportes and the NFL Network will all have gavel to gavel coverage.

Blake Fisher (54) and Joe Alt (76), two terrific tackles, are likely to be the first two ND players off the board in this year’s NFL draft. (Photo: Chad Ryan)

ByPhil Houk

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

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