The draft is just the beginning. While four former Notre Dame players heard their names during the NFL draft between Thursday and Sunday, three more reached undrafted free agent deals in the draft’s immediate aftermath.
Obviously, the drafted players have the best chances at not only roster spots but playing time in the fall.
QUENTON NELSON: No. 6 overall pick to the Indianapolis Colts. Nelson’s contract, per spotrac.com, will be worth $23.9 million over four years including a $15.5 signing bonus. He will start at left guard, completing the demotion of four-year veteran Jack Mewhort who is on a one-year deal after injuries held him back the last two years.
MIKE McGLINCHEY: No. 9 overall pick to the San Francisco 49ers. The contract at McGlinchey’s draft position will be worth $18.3 million over four years with $11.4 million of that coming in a signing bonus. McGlinchey will start at right tackle this fall, moving back to his original Irish position since the 49ers already have 11-year veteran Joe Staley at left tackle.
DURHAM SMYTHE: No. 123 overall, in the fourth round, to the Miami Dolphins. $3.05 million over four years with a $639,920 signing bonus. The Dolphins also drafted a tight end in the second round in Mike Gesicki from Penn State.
Both Smythe and Gesicki should feel good about their playing chances in Miami, the former a run-blocker primarily and the latter a vertical threat. With Julius Thomas (62 catches in 14 games last year for 388 yards and three touchdowns) now with the Detroit Lions, the Dolphins have only two notable tight ends on the roster, and neither exactly shined in 2017. AJ Derby split his time between the Denver Broncos and Miami, finishing the year with 21 receptions for 244 yards and two touchdowns in 11 games while MarQueis Gray made only one 10-yard catch in 16 games.
EQUANIMEOUS ST. BROWN: No. 207 overall, in the sixth round, to the Green Bay Packers. $2.5 million over four years with a $118,411 signing bonus. The Packers also drafted J’Mon Moore of Missouri and Marquez Valdes-Scantling of South Florida at No. 133 and No. 174 overall, respectively.
Green Bay shed receiving contributors Jordy Nelson and Jeff Janis this offseason, shallowing the pool of trusted targets for quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Behind Davante Adams and Randall Cobb, the Packers turn to Geronimo Allison and a bevy of question marks. Thus, the draft focus on receivers.
Valdes-Scantling is a bona fide speed threat, perhaps giving him an edge in the chase for playing time, but St. Brown could certainly end up a contributor in 2018 if focused.
JOSH ADAMS: Signed a free agent contract with his homestate Philadelphia Eagles. Working his way into the Eagles’ backfield will mean Adams proves himself comparable to Jay Ajayi, Corey Clement and Wendell Smallwood. Even though Philadelphia will likely use a running back committee with Ajayi leading the way, cracking the rotation will be a tough ask for Adams.
Ajayi has only one year remaining on his contract, coming of a 14-game season with 208 carries for 873 yards and one touchdown.
Clement appeared in all 16 games of his rookie year, taking 74 rushes for 321 yards and four touchdowns.
Smallwood, though inactive for the Super Bowl, saw action in eight games of his second season, gaining 174 yards and scoring one touchdown on 47 rushes.
The only reason there is any uncertainty among Eagles running backs is LeGarrette Blount signed with the Detroit Lions.
NYLES MORGAN: Signed with the Chicago Bears, where it will be difficult to find playing time since Chicago drafted Georgia’s Roquan Smith with the No. 8 overall pick. Smith will likely line up alongside six-year veteran Danny Trevathan. Furthermore, the Bears spent the No. 115 and No. 181 overall picks on linebackers, Joel Iyiegbuniwe of Western Kentucky and Kylie Fits of Utah, respectively.
Morgan should focus on health and possible special teams contributions.
ANDREW TRUMBETTI: Will join Morgan with the Bears, who have established starting defensive ends in Akiem Hicks and Jonathan Bullard. Trumbetti might just hope for a practice squad spot for now.
GREER MARTINI: Still on the market, as of this posting, as is former Notre Dame quarterback Malik Zaire, if anyone is curious.
BLUE-GOLD GAME COVERAGE:
— Wimbush’s mechanics, Notre Dame’s receivers shine in Blue-Gold Game
— Things We Learned: Wimbush’s and Claypool’s proven potential raises Notre Dame’s ceiling
— Leftovers: Notre Dame’s offensive ceiling is tantalizing, though also unlikely
INSIDE THE IRISH READING:
— Former Notre Dame defensive lineman, Kona Schwenke, dies at 25
— Notre Dame gains commitments of four-star defensive end and three-star offensive tackle
— Notre Dame adds another 2019 commitment out of Georgia
— Avery Davis’ move bumps Notre Dame’s RB depth from dire to versatile
— Nick Watkins announces transfer from Notre Dame
— Quenton Nelson, Mike McGlinchey hear names in NFL draft’s first 10 picks
— Durham Smythe joins line of Notre Dame tight ends drafted into NFL
— Packers select Equanimeous St. Brown in sixth round
— Remembering Notre Dame’s ‘gentle giant’
— Notre Dame teammates pay tribute to Kona Schwenke’s generosity and heart
— Kahuku grad, former Notre Dame defensive lineman Schwenke dies at 25
— Jay Hayes and other transfers show how Kirby Smart is always in the market to get Georgia better ($)
— Howard Cross III found everything he was looking for at Notre Dame
— 2019 OL Andrew Kristofic commits to Notre Dame
— The ‘Blind Side’ era is over at the NFL draft
— Unexpected NCAA shift makes Shea Patterson eligible, but he can’t save Michigan’s offense alone
— Wisconsin QB announces intent to transfer
— State of the Program: Clemson football ($)