Recapping Notre Dame Football’s 2024 NFL Draft Picks

Notre Dame shines in NFL Draft: 7 players selected, including Joe Alt in 1st round. Notable undrafted QB Sam Hartman signs with Commanders

Notre Dame had seven players selected in the 2024 NFL Draft over the last three days, adding to its storied history of producing NFL Draft picks. It added to its history of 1st round picks with offensive lineman Joe Alt, who was joined by six of his former teammates in hearing their names called during the seven rounds of the draft. Former Irish quarterback and Wake Forest transfer Sam Hartman, however, was not among the seven selected.

Joe Alt (OT)

1st Round, #5 Overall, Los Angeles Chargers

No one was surprised that Joe Alt was the first Notre Dame player selected. He was a lock to go in the top 10. It was mildly surprising that Alt went to the Chargers at #5, though, since the Bolts have Rahsawn Slater locked in at left tackle. That means a move to the right side of the offensive line is in the cards for Alt now that he’s on the pro level. Sometimes, that move is not all that simple for some players, so he could have a bit of a learning curve. He played exclusively on the left side since forcing his way into the starting lineup as a true freshman at Notre Dame in 2020. It is also a mild bummer for Notre Dame fans that he is now playing for Jim Harbaugh.

Blake Fisher (OT)

2nd Round, #59 Overall, Houston Texans

There was some debate about which Notre Dame player would get selected second, but it ended up being Fisher by a full round. Notre Dame’s starting right tackle for the last two seasons lands in Houston, where he should have time to continue to develop. The Texans have two starters locked in at left and right tackle with Laremy Tunsil and Tytus Howard. Howard, however, hasn’t entirely lived up to his expensive contract, and the Texans have an out in his deal after the 2024 season, so he might not sit long. Fisher would undoubtedly have benefited from another year at the collegiate level. Still, he’ll get a chance to develop further while getting paid without being thrust into a starting spot too soon.

Marist Liufau (LB)

3rd Round, #87 Overall, Dallas Cowboys

It was mildly surprising that Marist Liufau was the third player off the board and heard his name called two full rounds before Cam Hart, but as I wrote in my draft preview, it seemed likely that some team would fall in love with his measurables and draft him much higher than most mock drafts had him going. The Cowboys are a team that loves to do that, along with the Raiders. Liufau won over Dallas defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer in film sessions by knowing what everyone was doing. Dallas’s linebacking corps is in flux with Leighton Vander Esch retiring.

Cam Hart (CB)

5th Round, #140 Overall, Los Angeles Chargers

Concerns over Cam Hart’s shoulder are the only reason it took until the 5th round for Hart to hear his name called. Hart is an elite cover corner who can lock up elite receivers, but three shoulder surgeries in five years scared some teams off. If his shoulder can hold up, he can be one of the steals in the draft for the Chargers, where he joins Alt and former Notre Dame safety Alohi Gilman.

JD Bertrand (LB)

5th Round, #143 Overall, Atlanta Falcons

Bertrand was another player who it wouldn’t have surprised me if he didn’t get drafted and needed to go the route of undrafted free agent, but the Falcons scooped up the local product in the 5th round. Bertrand has a chance to stick around in the NFL for a long time as a special teams ace, even if he never ends up being an every-down starter. He’ll play for one of the best defensive minds in the game in Falcons head coach Raheem Morris.

Audric Estime (RB)

5th Round, #147 Overall, Denver Broncos

Like Cam Hart, Audric Estime has a chance to be one of the steals of the draft. Much like Kyren Williams two years ago, Estime’s speed at the Combine scared teams off, and he fell down draft boards. Like Williams, one of the biggest surprises of the 2023 NFL season, finishing 3rd in rushing despite only playing 12 of 17 games, Estime could make many scouts and executives look foolish for passing him up in a few years. Estime is a bowling ball of a runner who plays a lot faster than his 40 times.

Denver finished a respectable 8-9 last year despite being somewhat of a dumpster fire with the Russell Wilson situation, but figures to take a step back this year as it figures out a long-term answer at quarterback. They drafted Bo Nix and traded for Zack Wilson – neither of whom is likely to provide a rushing attack with much help this year. Javonte Williams is the Broncos lead back, but he rushed for just 773 yards and averaged 3.6 yards per carry in 16 games.

Javontae Jean-Baptiste (DE)

7th Round, #222 Overall, Washington Commanders

I had Jean-Baptiste going in the 5th round, given the premium the NFL puts on pass rushers, but fell to the 7th round to the Commanders, who are in the process of rebuilding once again after letting head coach Ron Rivera going and trading away all of their high-priced defensive ends at last year’s trade deadline. Washington hired Dan Quinn, the former DC for the Cowboys, so JJB lands in a system run by a defensive-minded head coach. The Commanders also traded Chase Young and Montez Sweat last year at the deadline and didn’t draft any other EDGE rusher this year.

The most notable Notre Dame player to go undrafted was quarterback Sam Hartman, though he has signed a free agent contract with the Commanders, where he’ll join Jean-Baptiste. The Commanders, however, used the 2nd overall pick on quarterback Jayden Daniels, so Hartman will have a battle on his hands just to make the roster.

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