38 Former Notre Dame Football Players Make NFL Rosters

Notre Dame continued to be a pipeline to the NFL for its former players in 2021.

The NFL’s final cutdown day came and went this week along with the initial waiver wire window. When the dust settled, 38 former Notre Dame football players found themselves on active NFL rosters. A host of other former players are on the cusp of roster status as members of the practice squad.

Quarterback (1)

Deshone Kizer is still attempting to catch on the NFL but didn’t make an active roster. He did make the Tennessee Titans practice squad though.

Running Backs (1)

  • RB Tony Jones Jr., New Orleans Saints – Jones had a great training camp and was one of the more surprising former Domers to make a roster just since many didn’t expect him to heading into camp after the Saints signed Devonta Freemanthis summer.

CJ Prosise (Buccaneers), Josh Adams (Jets), and Dexter Williams (Packers) all made practice squads.

Wide Receivers (3)

No surprises here with Boykin or Claypool though Boykin does face a critical year as he enters year 3. Claypool looks primed for a potential breakout season. The one surprise here is Big Benny Skowronek making the Rams roster even after getting injured early in camp. He could still end up on IR following his forearm injury, but the fact that the Rams kept on the final cutdowns shows they intend to play him at some point this year.

Will Fuller will almost certainly join this list later in the year after he finishes serving his four-game suspension for performance-enhancing drugs.

  • WR Miles Boykin, Baltimore Ravens
  • WR Chase Claypool, Pittsburgh Steelers
  • WR Ben Skowronek, Los Angeles Rams

Javon McKinley (Detroit Lions) and Equanimeous St. Brown (Packers) didn’t make final cuts, but were signed to the practice squads for their respective teams.

Tight End (4)

Four Notre Dame tight ends made active rosters at final roster cuts. Kmet, Rudolph, and Tremble probably aren’t a surprise to most, but Durham Smythe might be. He’s quietly had a pretty nice NFL career so far despite not having some of the same success as his fellow former Domers while at Notre Dame.

  • TE Cole Kmet, Chicago Bears
  • TE Kyle Rudolph, New York Giants
  • TE Durham Smythe, Miami Dolphins
  • TE Tommy Tremble, Carolina Panthers

Rookie Brock Wright didn’t make an active roster, but he did make the practice squad for the Detroit Lions along with fellow former Notre Dame tight end Alize Mack.

Offensive Line (10)

It’s easy to see why Notre Dame is called O-Line U by many. Notre Dame has an eye-popping 10 former offensive linemen on active rosters for 2021 with Aaron Banks, Liam Eichenberg, and Robert Hainsey all making rosters as rookies.

  • OG Aaron Banks, San Francisco 49ers
  • OL Alex Bars, Chicago Bears
  • OG Liam Eichenberg, Miami Dolphins
  • OL Robert Hainsey, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  • OG Zack Martin, Dallas Cowboys
  • Nick Martin, Las Vegas Raiders
  • OT Mike McGlinchey, San Francisco 49ers
  • Sam Mustipher, Chicago Bears
  • OG Quenton Nelson, Indianapolis Colts
  • OT Ronnie Stanley, Baltimore Ravens

Tommy Kraemer made the Detroit Lions practice squad this year as a rookie.

Defensive Linemen (9)

Remember when Notre Dame had a hard time attracting defensive linemen and producing NFL linemen? Yeah, those days are long gone. Nine former Notre Dame defensive line made active rosters including all five defensive ends that Mike Elston recruited in the class of 2016 – Daelin Hayes, Jamir Jones, Julian Okwara, Khalid Kareem, and Ade Ogundeji.

  • DE/LB Daelin Hayes, Baltimore Ravens
  • DE/LB Jamir Jones, Pittsburgh Steelers
  • DE Khalid Kareem, Cincinnati Bengals
  • DE Ade Ogundeji, Atlanta Falcons
  • DE Romeo Okwara, Detroit Lions
  • DE Julian Okwara, Detroit Lions
  • DE Isaac Rochell, Indianapolis Colts
  • DE Stephon Tuitt, Pittsburgh Steelers
  • DT Jerry Tillery, Los Angeles Chargers

Sheldon Day was part of the final roster cuts for the Browns, but he was resigned for their practice squad.

Linebackers (3)

Linebacker hasn’t quite caught up to the defensive line in terms of producing NFL talent for Notre Dame, but a trio of Irish backers made NFL rosters highlighted by rookie Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah in Cleveland. The Butkus Award winner turned some heads in training camp and looks like a steal as a 2nd round pick.

  • LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, Cleveland Browns
  • LB Jaylon Smith, Dallas Cowboys
  • LB Drue Tranquill, Los Angeles Chargers

Both Tevon Coney and Asmar Bilal made the Las Vegas Raiders practice squad.

Dfensive Backs (5)

Matthias Farley continues to have one of the more unexpectedly long NFL careers. Most Notre Dame fans wouldn’t have pegged him to be a player who lasted this long in the NFL, but here he is making another NFL roster. One surprise here is rookie Nick McCloud. He went undrafted, then was cut in final roster cuts before the Bengals claimed him off waivers.

  • Matthias Farley, Tennessee Titans
  • Alohi Gilman, Los Angeles Chargers
  • Julian Love, New York Giants
  • CB Nick McCloud, Cincinnati Bengals
  • Harrison Smith, Minnesota Vikings

Fan-favorite Shaun Crawford made the Raiders practice squad. If there was ever a kid to root for in the NFL by Notre Dame fans without a pro team, it’s Crawford. Really hope he ends up sticking around in the NFL. Cole Luke (Washington Football Team), Bennett Jackson (Jets), Keivarae Russell (Saints), and Jalen Elliot (Lions) all made practice squads.

Specialists (2)

Is Notre Dame Long Snapper U now too?

  • LS Scott Daly, Detroit Lions
  • LS J.J. Jansen, Carolina Panthers

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