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Marcus Freeman has done a great job of attracting elite talent to South Bend, from top high school recruits to coveted transfer players. NFL scouts and GMs are taking notice.

The Fighting Irish have a championship-caliber roster, especially on defense, and if the stars leave school early and a veteran or two raises the bar, the program could break the modern school record of 10 draft picks set in 1994.

Benjamin Morrison, CB Jr.

Morrison is a top-notch all-around cover corner and one of the best defensive backs in the country in 2024. DBs of his caliber don’t stay in school for four years…or wait a long time to hear their name called.
projection: 1 round

Riley Leonard, QB Sr.

This will be exciting. Leonard has the traits and now the stage to dramatically increase his draft value. He has a first-round max and Day 2 minimum unless his ankle injury from last year lingers this fall.
projection: 1 round

Xavier Watts, S Sr.

Watts is a proven playmaker, as evidenced by his seven interceptions as a converted wide receiver last season, and this year he’ll get a chance to show scouts he can be consistent in all phases of the safety position.
projection: 2nd round

Rylie Mills, DT Sr.

Mills will be an interesting player to watch as he looks to top the Combine this coming February. If his footage matches his attributes, watch out… he could use the next six months to skyrocket up the draft lists.
projection: 2nd round

Howard Cross III, DT Sr.

Although Cross is undersized for the position, he’s a one-gap disruptor with the hands and drive to wreak havoc on all three downs. He’s the total package… size concerns aside.
projection: 3rd round

Mitchell Evans, TE Sr.

The latest in a long line of Irish tight ends at the next level, Evans won’t be the first tight end selected in 2025, but since he’s now at 100%, he’s poised for a breakout season in his final season.
Projection: 3rd round

RJ Oben, EDGE Sr.

Like Leonard on offense, Oben left Duke to increase his draft chances. He is a talented edge rusher who plays on one of the most talented D-lines in the country.
projection: 4th round

Jack Kiser, LB Sr.

Some team will fall in love with Kiser on day three and then watch him play for 8-10 years. He’s tough, smart, instinctive, and ready to have a great final season in a full-time role.
projection: 6th round

Kris Mitchell, WR Sr.

Mitchell made a smart career move by leaving the anonymity of FIU behind and stepping into the spotlight in South Bend. If he can prevail against stronger competition, the Jets are the right candidate for Day 3.
projection: 6th round

The field

This is where it gets interesting, as Notre Dame will break its single-season draft record in 2025. At least one veteran will have a career year and attract the attention of scouts. WR Beaux-Collins has an NFL body. S-Rod Heard II is versatile and battle-tested. EN Jordan Botelho could be worth a late call based on metrics alone. The record is on the line, but the Irish will need a few veterans to add salary in their final season.

Top 10 Notre Dame football players to watch in 2024