Football

@NDFootball
RECAP: Notre Dame & The NFL Draft

May 1, 2018

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 498 occasions. The total rises to 559 selections to the professional ranks when you include the AFL (37) and AAFC (24) drafts.

  • Notre Dame's 498 players drafted is the second-most of any school. USC is tops on the list with 502.
  • Sixty-eight Notre Dame players have been selected in the first round of the NFL Draft. Only USC (81) and Ohio State (81) 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-five schools for all-time NFL Draft picks, Notre Dame has the second-most first-round selections since 2010 with eight. Ohio State has 11.

Most Picks by School

Picks School No. 1 Picks First Rounders First Rounders (2010s)
502 USC 5 81 7
498 Notre Dame 5 68 8
443 Ohio State 3 81 11
386 Oklahoma 4 44 6
364 Michigan 2 46 4
359 Nebraska 3 33 2
355 Alabama 2 60 25
350 Penn State 2 37 2
345 Tennessee 2 45 5
344 Florida 0 52 13
343 Texas 3 43 2
342 Miami, Fla. 2 63 4
335 LSU 2 41 9
323 Georgia 4 34 8
321 UCLA 1 35 6
311 Michigan State 1 37 3
  • Here's a listing of first-round selections by current NFL teams with the overall pick in parentheses:
  • 1936: B Bill Shakespeare, Pittsburgh Pirates (3)
  • 1944: QB Angelo Bertelli, Boston Yanks (1); B Creighton Miller, Brooklyn Dodgers (3)
  • 1945: B Frank Szymanski, Detroit Lions (6); E John Yonakor, Philadelphia Eagles (9)
  • 1946: QB 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)
  • 1949: QB Frank Tripucka, Philadelphia (9); G Bill Fischer, Chicago Cardinals (10)
  • 1950: E Leon Hart, Detroit Lions (1)
  • 1951: QB Bob Williams, Chicago Bears (2); C Jerry Groom, Chicago Cardinals (6)
  • 1954: T Art Hunter, Green Bay Packers (3); B John Lattner, Pittsburgh Steelers (7); B Neil Worden, Philadelphia Eagles (9)
  • 1955: QB Ralph Guglielmi, Washington Redskins (3); T Frank Varrichione, Pittsburgh Steelers (6); 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); E Monty Stickles, San Francisco 49ers (11)
  • 1965: WR Jack Snow, Minnesota Vikings (8)
  • 1967: DT Alan Page, Minnesota Vikings (15); G Tom Regner, Houston Oilers (23); G Tom Seiler, New York Jets (12)
  • 1968: DE Kevin Hardy, New Orleans Saints (7)
  • 1969: T George Kunz, Atlanta Falcons (2); E Jim Seymour, Los Angeles Rams (10)
  • 1970: DT Mike McCoy, Green Bay Packers (2)
  • 1972: DE Walt Patulski, Buffalo Bills (1); DB Clarence Ellis, Atlanta Falcons (15); 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); DE Ross Browner, Cincinnati Bengals (8); 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); FB Jerome Bettis, Los Angeles Rams (10); CB Tom Carter, Washington Redskins (17); TE Irv Smith, New Orleans Saints (20)
  • 1994: DT Bryant Young, San Francisco 49ers (7); OG Aaron Taylor, Green Bay Packers (16); 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); 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); WR Will Fuller, Houston Texans (21)
  • 2018: OG Quenton Nelson, Indianapolis Colts (6); OT Mike McGlinchey, San Francisco 49ers (9)
  • No school has been more consistent in terms of supplying players to the NFL. Notre Dame has had a player selected in 82 of the 83 NFL Drafts (only miss was in 1937; *1977 Notre Dame had a supplemental draft pick). Ohio State has also had a player chosen in 82 of 83 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 80 straight years (when including the NFL supplemental draft).

Most Drafts With Picks (1936-2018, 83 drafts)

Drafts School Drafts with no selections
82 Notre Dame 1937
82 Ohio State 1998
81 Oklahoma 1962, '95
81 USC 1936, '38
81 Michigan 1936, '38
81 Michigan State 1938, '40
81 Purdue 1994, '97
80 Texas 1936, '37, 2014
80 LSU 1938, '42, '93
79 Alabama 1960, '61, '70, 2008
79 Georgia 1936, '37, '41, '92
* 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 First Rounders Last First Rounder (Year) Last Overall (Year)
OT 62 8 Mike McGlinchey (2018) Mike McGlinchey (2018)
DB 55 6 Harrison Smith (2012) KeiVarae Russell (2016)
OG 55 5 Quenton Nelson (2018) Quenton Nelson (2018)
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)
DT 29 7 Bryant Young (1994) Isaac Rochell (2017)
TE 29 6 Tyler Eifert (2013) Durham Smythe (2018)
QB 22 9 Brady Quinn (2007) DeShone Kizer (2017)
DE 21 4 Renaldo Wynn (1997) Stephon Tuitt (2014)
WR 22 5 Will Fuller (2016) Equanimeous St. Brown (2018)
FB 10 2 Nick Pietrosante (1959) Marc Edwards (1997)
P 3 0 None Hunter Smith (1999)
K 1 0 None Bob Thomas (1974)
Defunct Positions
Back 38 2 Creighton Miller (1944) Tom MacDonald (1964)
End 29 2 Leon Hart (1950) Phil Sheridan (1966)

  • Quenton Nelson (sixth pick of the 2018 draft by the Indianapolis Colts), Mike McGlinchey (ninth pick of the 2018 draft by the San Francisco 49ers), Ronnie Stanley (sixth pick of the 2016 draft by the Baltimore Ravens) and Zack Martin (16th pick of the 2014 draft by the Dallas Cowboys) give the Irish a quartet of offensive lineman drafted in the first round since 2014.
  • Nelson is the highest selected offensive guard in the NFL Draft since Bill Fralic went second overall to the Atlanta Falcons in 1985.
  • Notre Dame has had four offensive linemen drafted in the first round of the NFL Draft since 2014 – the most of any school in the FBS.
  • Notre Dame is the first school in 37 years and just the second in NFL Draft history to have four offensive linemen selected in the top 16 picks over a five-year span.
  • Nelson and McGlinchey were the first two offensive linemen selected in the 2018 NFL Draft. It marked the first time since 1991 that the top two offensive linemen drafted were from the same school.
  • It marked just the third time in the last 60 years that the top two offensive lineman drafted were from the same school.
  • It marked just the third time in the last 50 years that two offensive linemen from the same school were chosen among the top 10 selections of the draft.
  • Notre Dame has had 16 offensive linemen in school history drafted in the first round of the NFL Draft – third most of any school in the FBS.
  • Notre Dame has had eight offensive linemen in school history drafted in the top 10 of the NFL Draft – second most of any school in the FBS.
  • In the past five drafts, Notre Dame has seen six offensive linemen selected in the first three rounds in Nelson, Stanley, McGlinchey, Zack Martin, Nick Martin and Chris Watt (third round pick of the San Diego Chargers in 2014). Over the previous 12 years (2002-13), only two Notre Dame offensive linemen were drafted in the first three rounds in Jeff Faine (first round pick of the Cleveland Browns in 2003) and Ryan Harris (third round pick of the Denver Broncos in 2007).
  • Notre Dame tight end Durham Smythe was selected in the fourth round of the 2018 NFL Draft by the Miami Dolphins. He is the fifth Irish tight end drafted, and fourth in the top four rounds, under Brian Kelly.
  • Smythe is the seventh-straight Notre Dame starting tight end chosen in the NFL Draft.
  • Notre Dame’s opening day starter at tight end has developed into an eventual NFL Draft pick in each of the past 14 seasons.

Irish Picks by Current NFL Team

Picks Team First Rounders
41 Bears Bob Williams (1951), Johnny Lujack (1946)
35 Steelers Frank Varrichione (1955), Johnny Lattner (1954), Bill Shakespeare (1936)
34 Redskins Tom Carter (1993), Ralph Guglielmi (1955)
31 Rams Jerome Bettis (1993), Todd Lyght (1991), Mike Fanning (1975), Jim Seymour (1969), Emil Sitko (1946)
27 Eagles Neil Worden (1954), Frank Tripucka (1949), John Yonakor (1945)
27 Cardinals Michael Floyd (2012), George Izo (1960), Jerry Groom (1951), Bill Fischer (1949)
27 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)
21 49ers Mike McGlinchey (2018), 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
16 Browns Brady Quinn (2007), Jeff Faine (2003)
14 Chargers None
13 Colts Quenton Nelson (2018)
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)
10 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 (31) 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
  • Eight Notre Dame players have been selected in the first round of the NFL Draft since 2012, which ranks as the fourth-most in the FBS over the span. The Irish have more first-round picks since 2012 than Oklahoma (two), Texas (two) and Michigan (three) combined.

Notre Dame First-Round NFL Draft Picks

Years (drafts)
1995-2011 (17) 4
2012-2018 (8) 8

Rank School First Round Draft Picks since 2012
1. Alabama 19
2. Ohio State 12
3. Florida 9
4. Notre Dame 8
LSU 8
Texas A&M 8
Florida State 8

  • Kelly has produced nearly three times as many first-round NFL Draft picks (eight) 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 eight NFL drafts.
Rank Coach (Tenure) First Rounders NFL Drafts
1. Lou Holtz (1986-96) 12 11
Ara Parseghian (1964-74) 12 11
3. Frank Leahy (1941-43, 46-53) 10 11
4. Brian Kelly (2010-) 8 8
5. Dan Devine (1975-80) 5 5
Terry Brennan (1954-58) 5 5

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
  • Notre Dame has had 14 players selected in the top two rounds of the draft since 2012, which ranks as the fifth-most in the FBS over the span. By comparison, Oklahoma (seven) and Georgia (nine) have combined for just two more. 
Rank School Top-Two Round Draft Picks since 2012
1. Alabama 32
2. Ohio State 22
3. LSU 19
4. Florida State 18
5. Notre Dame 14
Florida 14

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)

40 -- 1978-2018*
39 -- 1938-1976
* indicates active streak 

-- ND --

Michael Bertsch, director of football media relations at the University of Notre Dame, has been part of the Fighting Irish athletics communications team since 2006. An Akron, Ohio, native, he graduated from Walsh University (Ohio) in 1998 with a bachelor's degree in communications and also received his master's degree in health and physical education with an emphasis in sports administration from Marshall University in 2001.
 

 

Shop Now

Nissan

Gear Store

Get your Official ND Gear // Shop Now »

St. Joseph Health System Nissan Delta Canon Visit South Bend Mishawaka Vivid Seats