Let's hope Friday goes better than Thursday: Irish Day 2 Mock Draft
There was a 97% chance that Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah would be chosen in the first round of the NFL Draft on Thursday night according to ESPN’s Draft Day Predictor. As a Notre Dame fan, I should have known not to be comfortable with 97%. Stupid me.
Out of fear that I will get too riled up again over five linebackers being chosen ahead of the 2020 Butkus Award winner, I’ll just go ahead and say whoever snags Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah tomorrow has the steal of the draft. Except maybe the Patriots. That’s another topic that gets me worked up. I will not comment any further.
In addition to Wu, there are four Notre Dame players who have a legitimate chance to have their names called tonight. Here is where they might land based on Thursday night’s results:
Eichenberg was a possibility for the end of the first round, but it’s not surprising he will fall to day two. According to Mel Kiper’s “Best Available” list, Eichenberg is the second-best OT remaining behind only Oklahoma State’s Teven Jenkins.
Cincy elected not to draft Penei Sewell to protect Joe Burrow and went with Ja’Marr Chase on Thursday night. If they don’t take an offensive lineman with the 38th overall pick, Joe Burrow should retire before an opposing defense forces him to.
Jacksonville needs protection for Trevor Lawrence. Lawrence is a magician in the pocket, but so is Joe Burrow. You know how that ended. Jacksonville has two second round picks, at 33rd and 45th.
The Colts previously were the most likely landing spot for Eichenberg, which would set up a reunion with Quenton Nelson. Think of the juice. However, given the run on offensive tackles yesterday, it’s hard to think Eichenberg would drop all the way to Indy at No. 54.
Behind Kyle Pitts, one could argue several tight ends should be in that second spot - Tommy Tremble, Pat Freiermuth and Brevin Jordan all have upsides. As many teams have now filled their most glaring holes on night one, tight ends become more attractive picks.
After they get some protection for Burrow, Cincy could use a tight end. Their five tight ends had only 48 catches, 436 yards and two touchdowns last year.
Jacksonville took Clemson teammates Trevor Lawrence and Travis Etienne with their first two picks. Etienne could use a blocker. Notre Dame has a guy. The Jaguars are reportedly considering signing Tim Tebow at tight end as well (yes, you read that correctly), but Tremble is a better long-term bet.
With Zach Ertz reportedly on the way out of Philadelphia, Tremble could be a nice add to complement DeVonta Smith. The Rams could use a tight end as well, and they have their first pick of the draft late second round.
The Steelers filled their major glaring hole at running back by taking Najee Harris on Thursday. I’m not breaking any news when I say he’s a freak athlete (ESPN - PLEASE stop showing the hurdle. I’ve had enough), but the Steelers have a dismal offensive line. Their run block ranking last year was 31st in the League. They need some help, especially on the interior. Banks could be a steal here.
The Vikings took OT Christian Darrisaw with their first pick of the draft, but they could still use a guard as well. Banks could fill that hole as a third round pick, which is 90th overall.
Two-time captain and four-year starter as an offensive lineman at Notre Dame is never a bad thing to have on the resume. Hainsey could go late on Friday or could fall to early Saturday, although it is notable that his draft stock has been rising in recent weeks. With the fifth highest grade among offensive players at the Senior Bowl, Hainsey showed he is a valuable mid-draft add.
Now that the Jets have filled the quarterback hole and picked up USC’s Alijah Vera-Tucker, they may look to add a running back or cornerback with their second-round pick. If Hainsey is still on the board at the start of the third round, they may look to get a little insurance for Zach Wilson.