Seven-Round 2021 NFL Mock Draft Projects Notre Dame Fighting Irish Football Will Achieve Impressive Feat
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Seven-Round Mock Draft Projects Notre Dame Will Achieve Impressive Feat

Based on the seven-round mock from TheDraftScout.com’s Matt Miller, Notre Dame is in a strong position to reach a draft-related feat it hasn’t seen in nearly 20 years.

Should the Irish have six or more players selected in April’s NFL Draft, it would mark the first time since 2001-03 they had at least that many picks in three straight years. Miller has seven former Notre Dame players in his most recent mock, and all appear in the first 140 picks.

It starts with linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, who is the No. 15 pick to the New England Patriots.

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Notre Dame Fighting Irish football senior rover Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah
Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah is expected to be the first Notre Dame player taken in the 2021 NFL Draft. (Spencer Allen)

"A 6’1”, 220-pound missile, JOK has lined up as a STAR, a linebacker and a safety,” Miller wrote. “He can be deployed in a myriad of alignments and assignments. And when you’re dealing with [Buffalo Bills quarterback] Josh Allen twice a year, defenders with versatility and big play potential are a need.”

Owusu-Koramoah had 62 tackles, 11.0 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks, three forced fumbles, three pass breakups, two recoveries and an interception in 2020. He returned one of the fumbles for a touchdown.

Miller is, though, among those who sees Notre Dame tackle Liam Eichenberg as a Day 2 pick. If Eichenberg is indeed not taken in the first round, it would end the Irish’s streak of three straight left tackles going in the first 32 picks – a run that extends back to Brian Kelly’s first year as head coach in 2010. Eichenberg is the No. 63 pick in Miller’s mock, going to the Kansas City Chiefs.

Defensive end Daelin Hayes is the next Notre Dame player off the board, at No. 90 to the Cleveland Browns in the third round. Miller slotted guard Aaron Banks (No. 100, Houston Texans) and tight end Tommy Tremble (No. 102, Cincinnati Bengals) early in the fourth round. Tremble is the only three-and-done player to leave Notre Dame this year.

“Every time I watch Notre Dame, he’s one of my favorite players because he just makes plays,” Miller said of Tremble last month. “He’s the most athletic one I’ve seen come through there in recent memory.”

Defensive end Ade Ogundeji (No. 118, Indianapolis Colts) was a mid-fourth round pick in Miller’s mock and offensive lineman Robert Hainsey (No. 134, Philadelphia Eagles), was an early fifth-rounder. A tackle in college and starter since the end of 2017, Hainsey played mostly interior line at the Senior Bowl in January and is projected there in the NFL.

Notre Dame quarterback Ian Book was not in Miller’s mock, though Miller said last month he thinks Book is a draftable player. It’s worth noting compensation picks have not yet been awarded and the total number of draftees will likely be around 250, as opposed to the 224 slots Miller had in his mock.

“I do a lot of historical comparisons,” Miller said. “I went back with Ian Book and looked at the guys who were in the draft last year and asked, ‘Where was the cutoff line for people who were drafted, and do I feel like Ian Book is above or below that line?’ I actually like him better than I liked [former Georgia quarterback] Jake Fromm, who was picked in the fifth round last year. So to me, he is a draftable prospect based on that.”

Later-round quarterbacks in Miller’s mock were Texas’ Sam Ehlinger (fifth round, 152nd), Stanford’s Davis Mills (fifth round, 155th), Arkansas’ Feleipe Franks (seventh round, 201st), Texas A&M’s Kellen Mond (seventh round, 216th), SMU’s Shane Buechele (seventh round, 222nd)

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