Projecting Notre Dame Players in the 2019 NFL Draft

There are six Notre Dame players that we can see being selected in the 2019 NFL Draft: Jerry Tillery, Julian Love, Te’Von Coney, Miles Boykin, Drue Tranquill and Dexter Williams.   With the Irish conducting their 2019 Pro Day today, lets take a look into these now former Fighting Irish players that are expected to be selected in this years NFL draft and where they might land.

The draft will be held in Nashville from April 25th – 27th.

Jerry Tillery (DL):

Tillery was the heart of the defensive line that helped lead the Fighting Irish to the College Football Playoffs and racked up 135 tackles and 13.5 sacks in his collegiate career, 8 of those sacks coming as a senior.  Entering the draft he was projected to be selected in the second round but his combine performance boosted him up the charts. In the speed drills he ranked in the top 10 at his position with a 4.93 in the 40-yard dash, a 7.45 in the 3-cone and a 4.33 in the shuttle.

With the size and speed of Tillery, two things that can’t be taught, he can be selected towards the end of the first round. What ever team he lands on, he should become an instant starter and will help hold down the trenches as he did at Notre Dame. If he is able to put it all together, Tillery would give Notre Dame another recent rock solid DL in the NFL joining Stephon Tuitt.

If he gets selected in the first round, look for Tillery to get drafted 31st by the Los Angeles Rams or 32nd by the New England Patriots. If not in the first, it should be early in the second.

Julian Love (CB):

The cornerback that holds the record at Notre Dame as the career leader in pass break ups and was a finalist for the 2018 Jim Thorpe Award as the best defensive back in all of college has a great chance of being selected in the first two rounds.  Can he follow the footsteps of the last Notre Dame “lock down” corner and Notre Dame defensive backs coach, Todd Lyght, and have a great NFL career?

Love can play corner on the outside or in the slot and can make a huge impact on any team. He has decent size with a high IQ at his position.  He may be lacking in the 40 speed but he has quick hips and is quick off the ball. The best part about Love is that he can play any where on the field and in man or zone coverage. Expect him to be an instant starter and a huge help to any defense that has a need for a CB.

Look for Love to be selected in the middle of the second round.

Te’Von Coney (LB):

Te’Von Coney is another ND player whose name we will hear be called during the draft.  Can he be another Jaylon Smith coming out of Notre Dame and produce at a high level in the NFL?  Jaylon left Notre Dame after his Junior year and Coney has the stats to compare. In their Junior year at Notre Dame, Coney recorded one more tackle and a few more sacks compared to Jaylon.

Coney can be another gem in the NFL and help fill the void at the LB position for any team. Smith was selected in the second round, where we might see Coney be selected but we will most likely see him get drafted in the rounds after that.

Look for Coney to be selected no later than the 5th round.

Miles Boykin (WR):

No one had their stock rise after the combine more than Miles Boykin.  After finishing the day in the top 10 at his position with a 4.42 40-yard dash (T9 WR), a vertical of 43.5 inches (T1 WR), a 11’8” broad jump (2 WR), a 6.77 3-cone (1 WR) and a 4.07 20-yard shuffle (3 WR) all of the teams got to see the athleticism of this 6’4” 220 lbs receiver.  With that size and athleticism, you may see teams willing to take a risk on Boykin. Look for Boykin to try and improve his stock even more at Notre Dame’s Pro Day today.

Boykin could fall to the 5th round but don’t be surprised if he is selected in the first 3 rounds after his recent rise.

Drue Tranquill (LB):

The captain that lead the defensive unit at line-backer the last two years, Tranquill – like every Notre Dame participant – also had an impressive combine.  At his position, he had one of the fastest times at the 40-yard dash at 4.57 and the most bench reps with 31, which should help him jump up the draft boards for teams looking for a LB.    He may lack a little in size but he definitely doesn’t lack any with heart and hustle. He might be drafted towards the later rounds, but he has a lot of potential to be a huge impact and hear his name being called a lot on Sundays.

Some mock drafts don’t have him being drafted, but he should be expected to hear his name called between the 5th and 7th round.

Dexter Williams (RB)

Williams possesses good size and decent speed for his position and should be another Notre Dame player who hears his name called in Nashville.  Williams ran into some off the field trouble at school – including a suspension to start the 2018 season – which might hurt him. But he plays a position that has a low shelf life in the NFL which causes a high demand in the draft. That benefits him.  If he wants to have a long NFL career like former ND running back, Theo Riddick, Williams needs to sharpen his receiving and blitz pick up skills.

Williams should be expecting to hear his name called between the 4th and 6th round.

Besides these six players, there are a few other players that also might be fortunate enough to hear their name be called in Nashville.  Other players to look for are Alex Bars, Sam Mustipher and Alize Mack. March 20th, is Notre Dame’s Pro Day, so these players have another chance to get their names on the draft boards of NFL teams.

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  1. Dexter Williams is going to be a freakin steal for any team at that low of rounds. He’s the best overall RB to come out of ND in a long time and will fit the NFL style game very well with his skillset. Good luck to this young man and I’ll for sure be following him on Sundays!

  2. Just to be drafted is an accomplishment. I think Alize Mack will surprise and get drafted. He under achieved at ND, but, will over achieve in NFL.

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