For the first time in the Brian Kelly era the Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team was shut out of the first round for two straight seasons. Notre Dame did not have a first round pick in 2020, and in a major surprise the Irish didn't have a player selected in round one in of the 2021 NFL Draft.
All-American linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah was considered a virtual lock to go in the first round according the mock drafts, but 32 picks went by and Owusu-Koramoah never heard his name called despite three linebackers being selected.
Notre Dame's left tackle streak also came to an end. Every starting left tackle during the Kelly era were selected in the first round. To go further, all went within the first 16 picks of the first round, but the first round went by tonight without All-American Liam Eichenberg hearing his name called.
Hiestand coached three starting left tackles and all went in round one. The first starting left tackle for Jeff Quinn - who replaced Hiestand after the 2017 season - did not get picked in round one.
Five offensive linemen were picked in the first round.
The 2010 and 2011 drafts were the last time Notre Dame went without a first rounder for two consecutive seasons.
Expect Owusu-Koramoah and Eichenberg to go in round two, which begins tomorrow evening.
An interesting note, Kelly has produced nine first round picks during his 11 seasons. Four of those players were recruited by Charlie Weis (Harrison Smith, Michael Floyd, Zack Martin, Tyler Eifert) and five were recruited by Kelly (Ronnie Stanley, Will Fuller, Quenton Nelson, Mike McGlinchey, Jerry Tillery).
Another interesting note is four of the five first round picks that were recruited by Kelly were drafted as offensive linemen. Tillery was recruited by Hiestand to play offensive line before deciding late in the recruiting process to play defensive line.
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