After once again finishing first out of the FBS Independents, the 18th-ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish have a number of NFL Draft prospects looking to hear their name called. With four prospects falling inside PFN’s Top 300 rankings, the following scouting reports will provide a clearer picture as to who will be heading to the NFL next season.
Notre Dame 2023 NFL Draft Scouting Reports
Avery Davis, WR
Strengths: Once-highly rated receiver who is fluid releasing off the line of scrimmage into pass routes. Stays low exiting breaks and adjusts to the errant throw. Tracks the pass in the air, reaches backward, and grabs the errant throw with his hands.
Possesses soft hands, displays eye/hand coordination, and is effective when he extends to make the reception away from his frame. Comes back to the ball or finds the open spot in the defense. Plays faster than his 40 time and nicely makes the reception on crossing patterns. Keeps the play in bounds and is effective after the catch.
Weaknesses: Occasionally lets catchable throws slip through his hands. Never caught more than 27 passes in a single season for Notre Dame. Must now return from a significant knee injury that cost him the 2022 season.
Overall: Davis was graded as a potential late-round choice entering the season, but he never played a down after an August knee injury. He possesses the size and speed to line up as a fifth receiver, but Davis will have to prove he’s healthy and make his way through camp this summer.
Bo Bauer, LB
Strengths: Explosive, hard-charging linebacker who is forceful up the field. Breaks down well and locates the ball handler. Instinctive, quickly diagnoses the action, and takes proper angles to plays. Moves well laterally, works hard, and plays through the whistle. Drives his shoulders through tackles, wraps up tackling, and brings opponents down in the open field.
Weaknesses: Displays average playing speed and does not show much ability in pursuit. Minimally effective in coverage and chases opponents downfield. Played just five games last season after injuring his knee.
Overall: Bauer was a solid run-defending linebacker at Notre Dame, but he comes with limitations. He struggles in coverage and must now rebound from the knee injury he suffered last October.
Brandon Joseph, S
Strengths: Instinctive safety with experience returning punts. Disciplined, plays within the system, and keeps the action in front of him. Displays awareness in center field, possesses above-average range, and easily changes direction. Fluid pedaling in reverse and works well with cornerbacks. Aggressive, crashes upfield, and gives effort defending the run.
Weaknesses: Inefficient and does not always take proper angles to plays. More of a flash defender in coverage than a consistent producer.
Overall: Joseph transferred to Notre Dame after a tremendous sophomore season at Northwestern in 2021, but he never capitalized. He’s an instinctive defensive back with average athleticism who is a liability over the slot receiver. I like Joseph as a zone safety and special-teams player for Sundays.
Want more information on Joseph? Here’s our expanded scouting report and draft profile: Brandon Joseph, S, Notre Dame | NFL Draft Scouting Report
Houston Griffith, S
Strengths: Nice-sized safety who is best defending the run. Instinctive, quickly locates ball handlers, and keeps the action in front of him. Fires upfield, breaks down well, and wraps up tackling. Easily changes direction without losing momentum and quickly gets out to the flanks. Works hard to get involved in the action.
Weaknesses: Inefficient, does not always take correct angles, and misses tackles. Never recorded an interception during five years at Notre Dame and broke up just three passes.
Overall: Griffith is a one-dimensional, run-defending safety with limited upside. He could be used in a zone system, but he must really stand out on special teams to make it out of camp.
Isaiah Foskey, EDGE
Strengths: Athletic pass rusher with nice upside. Stands over tackle and is used out of a three-point stance. Quick off the snap and easily changes direction or immediately alters his angle of attack. Bends off the edge, shows speed up the field, and is rarely off his feet.
Displays speed moving laterally, possesses the athleticism necessary to play in space, and effectively uses his hands to protect himself. Collapses outside-in to defend the run, is very explosive, and remains disciplined with assignments. Quickly picks up coverage assignments and moves well around the field.
Weaknesses: Lacks strength at the point and gets easily out-positioned by a single blocker. Must develop more pass-rush moves and is easily knocked from his angle of attack. Got hammered during Senior Bowl practices.
Overall: Foskey was a tremendous college pass rusher who totaled 26.5 TFLs and 22 sacks the past two seasons. He makes a lot of plays behind the line of scrimmage and also shows the athleticism necessary to play in space. He turned in a terrific Combine, which will help his draft stock. Foskey should be effective as a stand-up linebacker who occasionally comes out of a three-point stance.
Want more information on Foskey? Here’s our expanded scouting report and draft profile: Isaiah Foskey, EDGE, Notre Dame | NFL Draft Scouting Report
Jarrett Patterson, OL
Strengths: Four-year starter at both center and guard for Notre Dame. Tough, durable lineman who can play multiple positions on the interior. Sets with a wide base, sinks his butt, and bend his knees. Works to stays square, gets leverage on defenders, and quickly sets up in pass protection. Explosive at the point, effectively uses his hands, and holds his ground. Strong, gets movement run blocking, and seals defenders from plays. Displays outstanding vision, blocks with a nasty attitude, and works to finish off opponents.
MORE: 2023 NFL Draft Big Board
Weaknesses: Stiff, not nimble, and ineffective blocking in motion. Overextends and is on the ground too much. Really doesn’t finish blocks.
Overall: As a sophomore at Notre Dame, Patterson looked as though he would be the next big-time blocking prospect to come from the Irish program. His game has leveled off since, but Patterson recuperated some of his draft stock after three solid days of Senior Bowl practice.
Patterson is an average athlete with short arms, yet he gets the most from his ability. He can be effective in a power-gap system or a scheme that does not require him to cover much ground.
Want more information on Patterson? Here’s our expanded scouting report and draft profile: Jarrett Patterson, C, Notre Dame | NFL Draft Scouting Report
Jayson Ademilola, DT
Strengths: Undersized and explosive defensive tackle who plays with a relentless style. Quick, agile, and displays a terrific first step. Gets leverage on opponents, works his hands throughout the action, and keeps his feet moving. Easily changes direction, moves extremely well, and gets out into space to pursue plays. Tough to knock off his feet and gives outstanding effort.
Weaknesses: Gets knocked off the line on running downs or hammered in the middle of the line. Easily out-positioned from the play. Not much of a pass rusher and was marginally productive at Notre Dame for the most part.
Overall: Ademilola entered the season as a potential late-round choice, but he struggled as a senior and fell off the scouting radar. He’s an explosive one-gap defender with enough athleticism to get consideration as a three-technique tackle.
Josh Lugg, OL
Strengths: Massive college blocker who sets with a wide base, stays square, and jolts defenders with explosive hand punches. Keeps his head on a swivel, quickly picks up assignments, and immediately recognizes blitzes. Stays square, makes excellent use of angles, and seals defenders from plays. Keeps his feet moving and works hard to get a pad on opponents.
Weaknesses: Lacks balance and agility and is often on the ground. Ineffective blocking in motion, stiff, and cannot redirect to linebackers. Only effective in a small area.
Overall: Lugg possesses outstanding length and growth potential, but he has a lot of limitations. He’s a power-gap blocker who must get bigger.
Justin Ademilola, LB
Strengths: Undersized pass-rushing college defensive end who projects to outside linebacker on Sundays. Fires off the snap, plays with leverage, and effectively uses his hands. Shows a lot of pass-rushing ability, bends off the edge, and can flatten and chase in pursuit. Keeps his feet moving, easily changes direction, and flows laterally defending the run. Shows athleticism.
Weaknesses: Lacks bulk and struggles getting off blocks. Has had marginal production throughout his college career and was more of a flash player than a consistent playmaker.
Overall: Ademilola showed ability in spurts during his time at Notre Dame. He’s a standup 3-4 linebacker who could surprise in camp this summer if he puts it all together.
Michael Mayer, TE
Strengths: Dominant tight end prospect who is effective as a blocker and pass catcher. Bends his knees and blocks with leverage. Stays square and turns defenders from the line. Effective blocking in motion and gets a shoulder pad on defensive linemen to knock them from their angles of attack. Keeps his head on a swivel and always looks for someone to hit.
Quickly releases off the line of scrimmage, stays low exiting breaks, and uses his large frame to shield away defenders. Gets vertical in a crowd and comes away with the difficult reception when opponents are draped on him. Splits the seam, gets into the secondary, and takes a pounding yet holds onto the throw. Consistently makes the difficult catch and wins out for the contested pass. Keeps the play in bounds and shows ability after the reception.
Weaknesses: Not a true deep threat as a receiver. Must learn to use his hands better to separate from defenders out of routes. Lacks a burst.
Overall: Mayer is a three-down tight end who can be used as a blocker in short-yardage situations or as a pass catcher at any time. He’s more of a traditional tight end compared to today’s field stretchers, yet Mayer possesses all the abilities needed to start on Sundays.
Want more information on Mayer? Here’s our expanded scouting report and draft profile: Michael Mayer, TE, Notre Dame | NFL Draft Scouting Report
TaRiq Bracy, CB
Strengths: Nice-sized cornerback who keeps the action in front of him. Tracks the pass in the air and nicely times his defenses. Tough, takes on larger opponents, and does not back down from a challenge. Explodes upfield, sells out on the blitz, and gives effort defending screen passes. Possesses a good burst to the ball out of his plant.
Weaknesses: Deep speed is a concern. Possesses average ball skills with his back to the ball. Comes off a disappointing season and totaled just two interceptions during his five years at Notre Dame.
Overall: Bracy possesses the size and skill to line up in zone packages at the next level, yet he really needs to elevate his game and stand out on special teams this summer.
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