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Notre Dame & The NFL Draft


April 26, 2017

Since the National Football League began drafting players in 1936 -- starting with the initial draft on February 8, 1936, at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Philadelphia -- Notre Dame football players have been selected by NFL teams on 492 occasions. The total rises to 553 selections to the professional ranks when you include the AFL (37) and AAFC (24) drafts.

  • Notre Dame's 492 players drafted is the second-most of any school. USC is tops on the list with 493. Sixty-six Notre Dame players have been selected in the first round of the NFL Draft. Only USC (79) and Ohio State (76) have had more.
  • Notre Dame had a school record four players chosen in the first round of the 1946 and 1993 drafts, respectively.
  • The Irish have had five players (tied with USC for the most) chosen as the first pick in the entire draft--QB Angelo Bertelli by Boston in 1944, QB Frank Dancewicz by Boston in 1946, E Leon Hart by Detroit in 1950, B Paul Hornung by Green Bay in 1957 and DT Walt Patulski by Buffalo in 1972.
  • In 1936, Bill Shakespeare was not only the first Notre Dame player drafted into the NFL but also the program's inaugural first-round selection (third overall to the Pittsburgh Steelers).
  • Among the top-10 schools for all-time NFL Draft picks, Notre Dame and Ohio State are tied for the most first round selections since 2010.

    Most Picks by School

    PicksSchoolNo. 1 Picks First-RoundersFirst-Rounders (2010s)
    493 USC 5 79 5
    492 Notre Dame 5 66 6
    429 Ohio State 3 76 6
    378 Oklahoma 3 43 5
    357 Nebraska 3 33 2
    351 Michigan 2 44 2
    343 Penn State 2 36 1
    338 Texas 3 43 2
    336 Tennessee 2 44 4
    327 Miami, Fla. 2 62 3

  • Six Notre Dame players have been selected in the first round of the NFL Draft since 2012, which ranks as the sixth-most in the FBS over the span. The Irish have an equal amount of first-round picks since 2012 than Oklahoma (one), Michigan (one), Texas (two) and Tennessee (two) combined.
  • Notre Dame First-Round NFL Draft Picks
    1995-2011 (17 drafts)4
    2012-2016 (5 drafts)6

    RankSchoolFirst Round Draft Picks since 2012
    1.Alabama11
    2.Florida State7
     Florida7
     Ohio State7
     Texas A&M7
    6.Notre Dame6

  • Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly has produced twice as many first-round NFL Draft picks (six) than the three previous Notre Dame head coaches combined (three). In fact, only Ara Parseghian (12), Lou Holtz (12) and Frank Leahy (10) have produced more first-round picks during their entire Irish coaching tenures. Of course, Kelly's total has come over just six NFL drafts.
  • RankCoach (Tenure)First RoundersNFL Drafts
    1.Lou Holtz (1986-96)1211
     Ara Parsegian (1964-74)1211
    3.Frank Leahy (1941-43, 46-53)1011
    4.Brian Kelly (2010-)66
    5.Dan Devine (1975-80)55
     Terry Brennan (1954-58)55

  • Notre Dame had four players (Ronnie Stanley, 6; Will Fuller, 21; Jaylon Smith, 34; Nick Martin, 50) selected in the top 50 picks of the NFL draft for the first time since 1993 (Rick Mirer, 2; Jerome Bettis, 10; Tom Carter, 17; Irv Smith, 20; Demetrius DuBose, 34; Reggie Brooks, 45).
  • With Stanley, Fuller, Smith and Martin all being selected in the top two rounds of the 2016 NFL Draft, Notre Dame has had 11 players selected in the top two rounds of the draft since 2012.
  • RankSchoolTop-Two Round Draft Picks since 2012
    1.Alabama21
    2.Florida State15
    3.Ohio State14
    4.LSU12
    5.Notre Dame11

  • Here's a listing of first-round selections by current NFL teams with the overall pick in parentheses:

    YearPositionName Team (Overall Pick)
    1936 B Bill Shakespeare Pittsburgh Pirates (3)
    1944 QB Angelo Bertelli Boston Yanks (1)
    1944 B Creighton Miller Brooklyn Dodgers (3)
    1945E John Yonakor Philadelphia Eagles (9)
    1945 B Frank Szymanski Detroit Lions (6)
    1946 QB Frank Dancewicz Boston Yanks (1)
    1946 QB John Lujack Chicago Bears (4)
    1946 T George Connor New York Giants (5)
    1946 B Emil Sitko Los Angeles Rams (10)
    1949 QB Frank Tripucka Philadelphia (9)
    1949 G Bill Fischer Chicago Cardinals (10)
    1950 E Leon Hart Detroit Lions (1)
    1951 QB Bob Williams Chicago Bears (2)
    1951 C Jerry Groom Chicago Cardinals (6)
    1954 T Art Hunter Green Bay Packers (3)
    1954 B John Lattner Pittsburgh Steelers (7)
    1954 B Neil Worden Philadelphia Eagles (9)
    1955 QB Ralph Guglielmi Washington Redskins (3)
    1955 T Frank Varrichione Pittsburgh Steelers (6)
    1955 B Joe Heap New York Giants (8)
    1957 B Paul Hornung Green Bay Packers (1)
    1959 B Nick Pietrosante Detroit Lions (6)
    1960 QB George Izo St. Louis Cardinals (2)
    1960 E Monty Stickles San Francisco 49ers (11)
    1965 WR Jack Snow Minnesota Vikings (8)
    1967 DT Alan Page Minnesota Vikings (15)
    1967 G Tom Regner Houston Oilers (23)
    1967 G Tom Seiler New York Jets (12)
    1968 DE Kevin Hardy New Orleans Saints (7)
    1969 T George Kunz Atlanta Falcons (2)
    1969 E Jim Seymour Los Angeles Rams (10)
    1970 DT Mike McCoy Green Bay Packers (2)
    1972 DE Walt Patulski Buffalo Bills (1)
    1972 DB Clarence Ellis Atlanta Falcons (15)
    1972 DT Mike Kadish Miami Dolphins (25)
    1975 DT Mike Fanning Los Angeles Rams (9)
    1976 DT Steve Niehaus Seattle Seahawks (2)
    1978 TE Ken MacAfee San Francisco 49ers (7)
    1978 DE Ross Browner Cincinnati Bengals (8)
    1978 DB Luther Bradley Detroit Lions (11)
    1980 RB Vagas Ferguson New England Patriots (25)
    1982 LB Bob Crable New York Jets (23)
    1983 TE Tony Hunter Buffalo Bills (12)
    1984 RB Greg Bell Buffalo Bills (26)
    1986 DT Eric Dorsey New York Giants (19)
    1988 WR Tim Brown Los Angeles Raiders (6)
    1989 OT Andy Heck Seattle Seahawks (15)
    1991 CB Todd Lyght Los Angeles Rams (5)
    1992 TE Derek Brown New York Giants (14)
    1993 QB Rick Mirer Seattle Seahawks (2)
    1993 FB Jerome Bettis Los Angeles Rams (10)
    1993 CB Tom Carter Washington Redskins (17)
    1993 TE Irv Smith New Orleans Saints (20)
    1994 DT Bryant Young San Francisco 49ers (7)
    1994 OG Aaron Taylor Green Bay Packers (16)
    1994 FS Jeff Burris Buffalo Bills (27)
    1997 DE Renaldo Wynn Jacksonville Jaguars (21)
    1999 OT Luke Petitgout New York Giants (19)
    2003 C Jeff Faine Cleveland Browns (21)
    2007 QB Brady Quinn Cleveland Browns (22)
    2012 WR Michael Floyd Arizona Cardinals (13)
    2012 S Harrison Smith Minnesota Vikings (29)
    2013 TE Tyler Eifert Cincinnati Bengals (21)
    2014 OL Zack Martin Dallas Cowboys (16)
    2016 OL Ronnie Stanley Baltimore Ravens (6)
    2016 WR Will Fuller Houston Texans (21)

  • No school has been more consistent in terms of supplying players to the NFL. Notre Dame has had a player selected in 79 of the 81 NFL Drafts (only misses were in 1937 and 1977*). Oklahoma has also had a player chosen in 79 of 81 NFL Drafts.
  • With Texas failing to have a player selected in the 2014 NFL Draft, Notre Dame has the longest streak of at least one player drafted at 78 straight years (when including the NFL supplemental draft).

    Most Drafts With Picks (1936-2016, 81 drafts)

    >
    DraftsSchoolDrafts with no selections
    79 Notre Dame 1937, `77*
    79 Oklahoma 1962, '95
    76 USC 1936, '37, '38, '43, '46
    73 Michigan 1936, '37, '38, '40, '47, '50, '55, '61
    72 Tennessee 1937, '38, '39, '48, '50, '54, '63, `15, `16
    71 Alabama 1946, '47, '50, '57, '58, '60, '61, '70, '78, '05
    69 Texas 1936, '37, '39, '40, '45, '46, '54, '56, '57, '58, '59, `14
    68 Florida 1936, '37, '38, '39, '41, '42, '44, '46, '47, '48, '49, '51, '52
    68 Nebraska 1942, '43, '44, '45, '46, '48, '50, '52, '54, '56, '58, '59, '62
    66 Miami, Fla. 1936, '37, '39, '43, '44, '46, '48, '49, '50, '54, '55, '58, '59, '61, '74
    66 Penn State 1936, '37, '38, '39, '40, '42, '44, '45, '46, '48, '51, '52, '53, '54, '05

    * Al Hunter was selected in the 1977 NFL supplemental draft

  • Notre Dame became the first school to ever produce three of the first five NFL Draft picks in a single year. In 1946, Frank Dancewicz went No. 1, Johnny Lujack went No. 4 and George Connor went No. 5. Remarkably, Emil Sitko went No. 10.
  • In addition to the Irish in '46, Oklahoma ('10), Michigan State ('67) and USC ('77) each had three top-five selections in a single draft.
  • Notre Dame was the first school to ever produce four of the first 10 NFL Draft picks in a single year as well.
  • In addition to the Irish in '46, Michigan State ('67) had four top-10 selections in a single draft.
  • Notre Dame and Oklahoma are the only two schools that have ever produced the top pick in consecutive NBA (Austin Carr went No. 1 in 1971) and NFL (Walt Patulski went No. 1 in the 1972) Drafts. Oklahoma had Blake Griffin (NBA) and Sam Bradford (NFL) in 2010.

    Irish Drafted by Position

    Pos.Total Number of Pos.Total First Rounders Last First-Rounder (Year)Last Overall (Year)
    OT 61 7 Ronnie Stanley (2016) Ronnie Stanley (2016)
    DB 55 6 Harrison Smith (2012) KeiVarae Russell (2016)
    OG 54 4 Zack Martin (2014) Zack Martin, Chris Watt (2014)
    LB 54 1 Bob Crable (1982) Jaylon Smith (2016)
    RB 38 7 Jerome Bettis (1993) C.J. Prosise (2016)
    C 31 4 Jeff Faine (2003) Nick Martin (2016)
    TE 28 6 Tyler Eifert (2013) Ben Koyack (2015)
    DT 28 7 Bryant Young (1994) Sheldon Day (2014)
    QB 21 9 Brady Quinn (2007) Jimmy Clausen (2010)
    DE 21 4 Renaldo Wynn (1997) Stephon Tuitt (2014)
    WR 21 5 Will Fuller (2016) Will Fuller (2016)
    FB10 2 Nick Pietrosante (1959) Marc Edwards (1997)
    P 3 0 None Hunter Smith (1999)
    K1 0 None Bob Thomas (1974)
    *Back 38 2 Creighton Miller (1944) Tom MacDonald (1964)
    *End29 2 Leon Hart (1950)Phil Sheridan (1966)
    *Defunct Positions

    Irish Picks by Current NFL Team

    PicksTeamFirst Rounders
    41 Bears Bob Williams (1951), Johnny Lujack (1946)
    35 Steelers Frank Varrichione (1955), Johnny Lattner (1954), Bill Shakespeare (1936)
    34Redskins Tom Carter (1993), Ralph Guglielmi (1955)
    30 Rams Jerome Bettis (1993), Todd Lyght (1991), Mike Fanning (1975), Jim Seymour (1969), Emil Sitko (1946)
    27Eagles Neil Worden (1954), Frank Tripucka (1949), John Yonakor (1945)
    27 Cardinals Michael Floyd (2012), George Izo (1960), Jerry Groom (1951), Bill Fischer (1949)
    26 Packers Aaron Taylor (1994), Mike McCoy (1970), Paul Hornung (1957), Art Hunter (1954)
    21 Giants Luke Petitgout (1999), Derek Brown (1992), Eric Dorsey (1986), Joe Heap (1955), George Connor (1946)
    20 49ers Bryant Young (1994), Ken MacAfee (1978), Monty Stickles (1960)
    18 Bills Jeff Burris (1994), Greg Bell (1984), Tony Hunter (1983), Walt Patulski (1972)
    18 Lions Luther Bradley (1978), Nick Pietrosante (1959), Leon Hart (1950), Frank Szymanski (1945)
    17 Patriots Vagas Ferguson (1980)
    16 Chiefs None
    15 Browns Brady Quinn (2007), Jeff Faine (2003)
    14 Chargers None
    12 Colts None
    11 Saints Irv Smith (1993), Kevin Hardy (1968)
    10 Broncos None
    10 Cowboys Zack Martin (2014)
    10 Vikings Harrison Smith (2012), Alan Page (1967), Jack Snow (1965)
    10 Falcons Clarence Ellis (1972), George Kunz (1969)
    9 Bengals Tyler Eifert (2013), Ross Browner (1978)
    9 Dolphins Mike Kadish (1972)
    9 Seahawks Rick Mirer (1993), Andy Heck (1989), Steve Niehaus (1976)
    9 Titans Tom Regner (1967)
    8 Raiders Tim Brown (1988)
    7 Jets Bob Crable (1982), Paul Seiler (1967)
    6 Buccaneers None
    6 Ravens Ronnie Stanley (2016)
    5 Jaguars Renaldo Wynn (1997)
    5 Texans Will Fuller (2016)
    2 Panthers None

  • The Bears franchise has selected the most Notre Dame players (41). The Steelers are next with 35. The Rams (30) and Giants (21) have drafted the most Irish players in the first round with five apiece.

    Most Notre Dame Players Selected

    16 -- 1946 (32 rounds)
    15 -- 1945 (32 rounds)
    13 -- 1950 (30 rounds)
    11 -- 1954 (30 rounds), 1959 (30 rounds), 1969 (15 rounds)
    10 -- 1944 (32 rounds), 1948 (32 rounds), 1956 (30 rounds), 1975 (12 rounds), 1979 (12 rounds), 1991 (12 rounds), 1994 (seven rounds)

  • The most Notre Dame players ever taken in a single draft was 16 in 1946 haul. While the draft included 32 rounds, the 16 Irish players went in the top 20 rounds. Four Notre Dame players went in the top-10 selections (Frank Dancewicz, QB; Johnny Lujack, QB; George Connor, T; Emil Sitko, B)
  • The rest of the '46 draft class included Elmer Angsman (third round), Ed Mieszkowski, (seventh), Pete Berezney (seventh), Bob Skoglund (ninth), Joe Signaigo (10th), George Strohmeyer (13th), Bob Palladino (14th), Fred Rovai (15th), Gasper Urban (17th), Jerry Ford (17th), Bill Heywood (20th) and Frank Ruggerio (20th).
  • The NFL Draft went through several reductions in rounds. It became seven rounds in 1994.
  • The most Irish players drafted in the Brian Kelly era at Notre Dame is eight (2014).

    Most Notre Dame Players Selected in First Round

    4 -- 1946, 1993
    3 -- 1954, 1955, 1967, 1972, 1978, 1994
    2 -- 1944, 1945, 1949, 1951, 1960, 1969, 2012, 2016
    1 -- 1936, 1950, 1957, 1959, 1965, 1968, 1970, 1975, 1976, 1980, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1986, 1988, 1989, 1991, 1992, 1997, 1999, 2003, 2007, 2013, 2014

    Most Notre Dame Players Selected in First Two Rounds

    6 -- 1993
    5 -- 1967
    4 -- 1946, 1954, 1955, 1978, 1990, 1994, 2016
    3 -- 1949, 1969, 1972, 1980, 1991 , 2014

    Most Notre Dame Players Selected in First Three Rounds

    7 -- 1994
    6 -- 1967, 1993, 2016
    5 -- 1946, 1955, 1978, 2014
    4 -- 1949, 1954, 1972, 1990, 1991, 1997

    Most Notre Dame Players Selected in First Seven Rounds

    10 -- 1994
    8 -- 1945, 1955, 1972, 1993, 2014
    7 -- 1946, 1950, 1954, 1967, 1978, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1999, 2003, 2007, 2016

    Consecutive Years with First-Rounders

    4 -- 1967-70, 1991-94
    3 -- 1944-46, 1949-51, 1982-84, 2012-14

    Consecutive Years with Pick in First Three Rounds

    18 -- 1982-1999
    8 -- 2001-08
    7 -- 1964-70
    5 -- 1972-76, 2010-14

    Consecutive Years with Irish Player Drafted (excluding supplemental draft)

    39 -- 1938-1976
    38 -- 1978-2016*
    * indicates active streak

    -- ND --
     

     

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