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Notre Dame & The NFL Draft

April 28, 2016

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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 485 occasions. The total rises to 546 selections to the professional ranks when you include the AFL (37) and AAFC (24) drafts.

  • Notre Dame's 485 players drafted is the second-most of any school. USC is tops on the list with 489.
  • Sixty-four Notre Dame players have been selected in the first round of the NFL Draft. Only USC (79) and Ohio State (71) 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 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).

Most Picks by School

PicksSchoolNo. 1 PicksFirst-RoundersFirst-Rounders (2010s)
489USC5795
485Notre Dame5644
417Ohio State3711
374Oklahoma3435
353Nebraska3332
348Michigan2442
338Penn State2361
337Texas3432
336Tennessee2444
325Miami, Fla.2612

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

1936B Bill Shakespeare, Pittsburgh Pirates (3)
1944QB Angelo Bertelli, Boston Yanks (1)

B Creighton Miller, Brooklyn Dodgers (3)
1945B Frank Szymanski, Detroit Lions (6)

E John Yonakor, Philadelphia Eagles (9)
1946QB Frank Dancewicz, Boston Yanks (1)

QB John Lujack, Chicago Bears (4)

T George Connor, New York Giants (5)

B Emil Sitko, Los Angeles Rams (10)
1949QB Frank Tripucka, Philadelphia (9)

G Bill Fischer, Chicago Cardinals (10)
1950E Leon Hart, Detroit Lions (1)
1951B Bob Williams, Chicago Bears (2)

C Jerry Groom, Chicago Cardinals (6)
1954T Art Hunter, Green Bay Packers (3)

B John Lattner, Pittsburgh Steelers (7)

B Neil Worden, Philadelphia Eagles (9)
1955QB Ralph Guglielmi, Washington Redskins (3)

T Frank Varrichione, Pittsburgh Steelers (6)

B Joe Heap, New York Giants (8)
1957B Paul Hornung, Green Bay Packers (1)
1959B Nick Pietrosante, Detroit Lions (6)
1960QB George Izo, St. Louis Cardinals (2)

E Monty Stickles, San Francisco 49ers (11)
1965WR Jack Snow, Minnesota Vikings (8)
1967DT Alan Page, Minnesota Vikings (15)

G Tom Regner, Houston Oilers (23)

G Tom Seiler, New York Jets (12)
1968DE Kevin Hardy, New Orleans Saints (7)
1969T George Kunz, Atlanta Falcons (2)

E Jim Seymour, Los Angeles Rams (10)
1970DT Mike McCoy, Green Bay Packers (2)
1972DE Walt Patulski, Buffalo Bills (1)

DB Clarence Ellis, Atlanta Falcons (15)

DT Mike Kadish, Miami Dolphins (25)
1975DT Mike Fanning, Los Angeles Rams (9)
1976DT Steve Niehaus, Seattle Seahawks (2)
1978TE Ken MacAfee, San Francisco 49ers (7)

DE Ross Browner, Cincinnati Bengals (8)

DB Luther Bradley, Detroit Lions (11)
1980RB Vagas Ferguson, New England Patriots (25)
1982LB Bob Crable, New York Jets (23)
1983TE Tony Hunter, Buffalo Bills (12)
1984RB Greg Bell, Buffalo Bills (26)
1986DT Eric Dorsey, New York Giants (19)
1988WR Tim Brown, Los Angeles Raiders (6)
1989OT Andy Heck, Seattle Seahawks (15)
1991CB Todd Lyght, Los Angeles Rams (5)
1992TE Derek Brown, New York Giants (14)
1993QB Rick Mirer, Seattle Seahawks (2)

FB Jerome Bettis, Los Angeles Rams (10)

CB Tom Carter, Washington Redskins (17)

TE Irv Smith, New Orleans Saints (20)
1994DT Bryant Young, San Francisco 49ers (7)

OG Aaron Taylor, Green Bay Packers (16)

FS Jeff Burris, Buffalo Bills (27)
1997DE Renaldo Wynn, Jacksonville Jaguars (21)
1999OT Luke Petitgout, New York Giants (19)
2003C Jeff Faine, Cleveland Browns (21)
2007QB Brady Quinn, Cleveland Browns (22)
2012WR Michael Floyd, Arizona Cardinals (13)

S Harrison Smith, Minnesota Vikings (29)
2013TE Tyler Eifert, Cincinnati Bengals (21)
2014OL Zack Martin, Dallas Cowboys (16)

  • No school has been more consistent in terms of supplying players to the NFL. Notre Dame has had a player selected in 78 of the 80 NFL Drafts (only misses were in 1937 and 1977*). Oklahoma has also had a player chosen in 78 of 80 NFL Drafts.

Most Drafts With Picks (1936-2015, 80 drafts)

DraftsSchoolDrafts with no selections
78Notre Dame1937, `77*
78Oklahoma1962, '95
75USC1936, '37, '38, '43, '46
72Tennessee1937, '38, '39, '48, '50, '54, '63, `15
72Michigan1936, '37, '38, '40, '47, '50, '55, '61
70Alabama1946, '47, '50, '57, '58, '60, '61, '70, '78, '05
68Texas1936, '37, '39, '40, '45, '46, '54, '56, '57, '58, '59, `14
67Florida1936, '37, '38, '39, '41, '42, '44, '46, '47, '48, '49, '51, '52
67Nebraska1942, '43, '44, '45, '46, '48, '50, '52, '54, '56, '58, '59, '62
65Miami, Fla.1936, '37, '39, '43, '44, '46, '48, '49, '50, '54, '55, '58, '59, '61, '74
65Penn State1936, '37, '38, '39, '40, '42, '44, '45, '46, '48, '51, '52, '53, '54, '05

* Al Hunter was selected in the 1977 NFL supplemental draft

  • 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).
  • 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.TotalFirst RoundersLast First-Rounder (Year)Last Overall (Year)
OT606Luke Petitgout (1999)Sam Young (2010)
DB546Harrison Smith (2012)Bennett Jackson (2014)
OG544Zack Martin (2014)Zack Martin, Chris Watt (2014)
LB531Bob Crable (1982)Prince Shembo (2014)
RB377Jerome Bettis (1993)Theo Riddick (2013)
C304Jeff Faine (2003)Eric Olsen (2010)
TE286Tyler Eifert (2013)Ben Koyack (2015)
DT277Bryant Young (1994)Louis Nix III (2014)
QB219Brady Quinn (2007)Jimmy Clausen (2010)
DE214Renaldo Wynn (1997)Stephon Tuitt (2014)
WR204Michael Floyd (2012)TJ Jones (2014)
FB102Nick Pietrosante (1959)Marc Edwards (1997)
P30NoneHunter Smith (1999
K10NoneBob Thomas (1974

Defunct Position Names

Back382Creighton Miller (1944)Tom MacDonald (1964)
End292Leon Hart (1950)Phil Sheridan (1966)

Irish Picks by Current NFL Team

PicksTeamFirst Rounders
41BearsBob Williams (1951), Johnny Lujack (1946)
35SteelersFrank Varrichione (1955), Johnny Lattner (1954), Bill Shakespeare (1936)
34RedskinsTom Carter (1993), Ralph Guglielmi (1955)
30RamsJerome Bettis (1993), Todd Lyght (1991), Mike Fanning (1975), Jim Seymour (1969), Emil Sitko (1946)
27EaglesNeil Worden (1954), Frank Tripucka (1949), John Yonakor (1945)
27CardinalsMichael Floyd (2012), George Izo (1960), Jerry Groom (1951), Bill Fischer (1949)
26PackersAaron Taylor (1994), Mike McCoy (1970), Paul Hornung (1957), Art Hunter (1954)
21GiantsLuke Petitgout (1999), Derek Brown (1992), Eric Dorsey (1986), Joe Heap (1955), George Connor (1946)
2049ersBryant Young (1994), Ken MacAfee (1978), Monty Stickles (1960)
18BillsJeff Burris (1994), Greg Bell (1984), Tony Hunter (1983), Walt Patulski (1972)
18LionsLuther Bradley (1978), Nick Pietrosante (1959), Leon Hart (1950), Frank Szymanski (1945)
17PatriotsVagas Ferguson (1980)
15BrownsBrady Quinn (2007), Jeff Faine (2003)
15ChiefsNone
14ChargersNone
12ColtsNone
11SaintsIrv Smith (1993), Kevin Hardy (1968)
10BroncosNone
10VikingsHarrison Smith (2012), Alan Page (1967), Jack Snow (1965)
10FalconsClarence Ellis (1972), George Kunz (1969)
9BengalsTyler Eifert (2013), Ross Browner (1978)
9DolphinsMike Kadish (1972)
9TitansTom Regner (1967)
9CowboysZack Martin (2014)
8RaidersTim Brown (1988)
8SeahawksRick Mirer (1993), Andy Heck (1989), Steve Niehaus (1976)
7JetsBob Crable (1982), Paul Seiler (1967)
6BuccaneersNone
5RavensNone
4JaguarsRenaldo Wynn (1997)
3TexansNone
2PanthersNone

  • 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
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
3 -- 1949, 1969, 1972, 1980, 1991 , 2014

Most Notre Dame Players Selected in First Three Rounds
7 -- 1994
6 -- 1967, 1993
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

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 -- 1978-2015*

* indicates active streak

 

 

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