Night one of the NFL Draft saw zero Notre Dame football players have their name called during the 1st round of the 2021 NFL Draft. Night two was a different story. Five total Notre Dame football players were selected in the 2nd and 3rd rounds. Three went in the second round while tight end Tommy Tremble and offensive linemen Robert Hainsey joined them in the 3rd.
Tommy Tremble – #83, Carolina Panthers
Tommy Tremble surprised some when he declared for the NFL Draft instead of returning to Notre Dame for his senior season. His decision turned out to be relatively sound as he was the 4th tight end (3rd if you don’t include hybrid tight end/wide receiver Kyle Pitts) to be selected in the draft when the Panthers selected him 83rd overall.
Carolina lost their primary blocking tight end in free agency this off-season and as all Notre Dame fans are aware, Tommy Tremble is one of, if not the, best blocking tight end in the country.
Had Tremble returned, maybe he improves his draft stock a little for 2022, but with Michael Mayer set to be a focal point of the Irish passing attack its hard to imagine Tremble being able to do much more than that. Tremble already established himself as an elite blocker in 2021 and there probably wouldn’t have been enough balls to go around for Tremble to really be showcased in the passing game enough to ever be considered as a 1st round possibility in 2022.
With Tremble’s skillset, it shouldn’t surprise anyone if he has a career similar to former Notre Dame tight Anthony Fasano – a long, productive career that sees him play well into his 30’s.
Robert Hainsey – #95, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Two Notre Dame offensive line were selected in round 2 – Liam Eichenberg and Aaron Banks. Robert Hainsey joined them in the third round giving the Irish three offensive line selections in the top 95 picks.
Hainsey’s versatility is going to allow him to have a very long NFL career as well. While he manned the right tackle position for Notre Dame for the last three years, he practiced at guard and center at the Senior Bowl and projections as an interior player on the next level. He might not start from day one in Tampa, but he will provide a lot of depth for the Super Bowl champions and could still see some time as a tackle in some packages.
It shouldn’t surprise anyone if Hainsey is still in the NFL 10 years from now either given all the positions he can play.
The only Notre Dame lineman left who is eligible to be selected who hasn’t been yet is guard Tommy Kraemer, but he could join his teammates today during rounds 4-7. Many more Notre Dame players could hear their names called today as well. Ian Book, Daelin Hayes, Ade Ogundeji, Javon McKinley, Nick McCloud, Shaun Crawford, Ben Skowronek, and Brock Wright are all eligible to be selected. Most of them will probably end up as undrafted free agents, but at a minimum, expect Book, Hayes, and Ogundeji to be drafted today.