A year later than he may have expected, former Notre Dame defensive end Daelin Hayes is headed to the NFL and, more specifically, to the Baltimore Ravens after they drafted Hayes in the fifth round of the weekend’s draft with the No. 171 overall pick.
Hayes would have been out of eligibility after the 2019 season if he had played one more game before suffering a season-ending shoulder injury. Instead, he returned to South Bend for a fifth year and his first as a full-time starter. While making three sacks with three additional quarterback hurries — including a sack in double overtime against No. 1 Clemson that essentially sealed Notre Dame’s upset on Nov 7 — Hayes’ greatest impact came off the field.
He led the Irish on a Juneteenth march last summer and never shied from conversation about the racial injustices across the country.
““The first goal I had when I stepped on campus was to become a captain, and I was able to achieve that,” Hayes said in March. “Another goal I had was to impact the community around me, and I was able to achieve that, as well. Then obviously the football aspect came full circle this year, as well.”
Hayes is the seventh former Irish player picked in this draft, nearing the Brian Kelly-era record of eight set in 2014. With defensive end Ade Ogundeji and offensive lineman Tommy Kraemer both expected to still be drafted, Notre Dame should set a program-best since 1994’s 10.