Drue Tranquill's move to Buck linebacker should be beneficial to his draft stock
Notre Dame was well represented early on at the 2018 NFL Draft. Guard Quenton Nelson was selected No. 6 by the Indianapolis Colts and shortly thereafter the 49ers took tackle Mike McGlinchey with the ninth pick.
Looking 360 days ahead, it doesn’t appear that Notre Dame will have a player picked that highly in 2019. But there are several players that will hear their names called at some point during next year's draft.
Here are Notre Dame’s top seven draft prospects (in alphabetical order) for the 2019 NFL Draft.
Alex Bars, G (R-Sr., 6-6, 218)
The Tennessee native showed great versatility, contributing at multiple spots along the line during his career at Notre Dame. But because strength is his strength, he is now a guard, the position that suits him best long-term.
Tevon Coney, LB (Sr., 6-1, 238)
Coney toyed with the idea of leaving ND this year, but made the wise decision to come back. There are coverage concerns, but he was always around the ball last fall, leading the Irish with 116 tackles. With another year under strength and conditioning coach Matt Balis, Coney hopes to become a more nimble pass defender while maintaining his impressive strength.
Julian Love, CB (Jr., 5-11, 189)
He’s not the fastest corner nor is he the biggest. But Love (above, right) is a physical, heady defender that can make plays. He was second nationally in both passes defended and pass breakups in 2017. He’s also not shy about hitting the opposition, as he ranked fifth on the Irish with 68 tackles.
Alize Mack, TE (Sr., 6-5, 244)
He’s big; he’s strong; he’s fast. But the production has been lacking. Mack is far too talented to be catching just 19 passes for 166 yards and one touchdown like he did in 2017. If he explodes this fall, the NFL will be calling. But if he muddles through another mediocre campaign, his fifth-year option at Notre Dame may even be in doubt.
Sam Mustipher, C (R-Sr., 6-3, 304)
Mustipher has started the last 25 Notre Dame games and has been named as a captain for the 2018 team along with Alex Bars, Drue Tranquill and Tyler Newsome. After a rough 2016 season, one that came with criticisms from his head coach, Mustipher had a solid ‘17, helping pave the way for the nation's seventh-ranked rushing offense.
Jerry Tillery, DT (Sr., 6-7, 299)
Tillery is tall for an interior defensive lineman, but he has good athleticism that enables him to cause problems in the opposing backfield. There have been questions about his desire but he seemed to put those issues to rest with a productive junior season. Tillery considered entering the 2018 draft before deciding to return to ND.
Drue Tranquill, LB (R-Sr., 6-2, 233)
The unquestioned leader of the leader of the Irish defense, Tranquill is switching positions this season. After thriving as a rover last fall, the Fort Wayne, Indiana, product will be playing the Buck linebacker position in 2018. If he can show that he is capable of eluding blocks and can make plays around the line of scrimmage, the move will be beneficial to his pro aspirations.
— Written by Jon Kinne, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network and a college football fanatic. Kinne has been writing about recruiting for the Irish Sports Daily for 10 years. Follow him on Twitter @JonRKinne.