Notre Dame had two more players drafted during the final day of the 2010 NFL Draft on Saturday with both Eric Olsen and Sam Young getting selected in 6th round – Olsen by the Broncos and Young by the Cowboys.
Young went off the board first at pick #179 by Dallas. Four years ago most would have been shocked to hear that Young would only be a 6th round pick after coming out of high school as the top offensive tackle in the country and then starting at right tackle for Notre Dame in his first collegiate game as a true freshman against Georgia Tech in 2006. Young didn’t develop into the dominant tackle most envisioned he would become at Notre Dame and while he showed some signs of improvement under Frank Verducci last season, he still didn’t become that dominant blocker.
In Dallas, Young will have a good opportunity to make the roster this year. The Cowboys released Flozell Adams this off-season which created a need at the position in the draft. Since Young was the only tackle selected by the Cowboys, it stands to reason that he should be able to come in and provide some depth for the Cowboys at the position. He also has the size to be able to be a good tackle with the right coaching, but despite starting more games than any other player in Notre Dame history, he still needs quite a bit of work.
Olsen meanwhile was selected four picks later at pick #183 by the Denver Brocnos where he will join former Notre Dame stars Ryan Harris and David Bruton. Olsen showed versatility in 2009 by switching to center despite playing guard his first three seasons at Notre Dame. He was also selected as one of four team captains for the ’09 season and has been the leader of the offensive line the past few seasons.
Olsen was one of three offensive linemen selected by the Broncos which means he will have to really shine in camp to make the Broncos roster. Olsen has been the most consistent and hard working lineman for the Irish over the past three seasons though so that should be a challenge he is more than capable of handling. Olsen’s versatility should also work in his favor of making the Broncos squad in 2010.
No other Notre Dame players were drafted, but Sergio Brown was signed by the Patriots as an undrafted free agent and Kyle McCarthy will join Olsen in Denver as a free agent as well. It’s hard to figure out why McCarthy wasn’t selected. He has been one of the few consistent and steady performers on the Irish defense the past two seasons and put up a very strong showing at the combine. The fact that McCarthy played on one of the worst defenses in Notre Dame history could be the culprit since his production and combine numbers were more than worthy of a draft selection. Look for McCarthy to be a training camp surprise and make the Broncos roster.