Notre Dame has a rich history of sending offensive line talent to the NFL. This year alone, they have four offensive line prospects that could hear their name called at the annual selection event. How does former five-star offensive-tackle-turned-guard Tommy Kraemer stack up in this Notre Dame 2021 NFL Draft class?
Tommy Kraemer NFL Draft Player Profile
- Position: Offensive Guard
- School: Notre Dame
- Current Year: Redshirt Senior
- Height: 6’5 1/2″
- Weight: 309 pounds
Tony Pauline’s Tommy Kraemer Scouting Report
Positives: Tough, durable blocker who is best in a small area. Explosive, strong at the point, and always looks for someone to hit. Quickly sets up off the snap, stays square, and works his hands throughout the action. Anchors in pass protection, turns defenders off the line on running downs, and seals them from plays. Gets leverage on opponents, possesses outstanding size, and easily controls opponents once engaged in a block.
Negatives: Lacks agility and struggles to adjust. Not light on his feet and ineffective blocking in motion. Must do a better job sinking his butt at the line of scrimmage.
Analysis: Except for missing a few games late in his Notre Dame career due to an appendectomy, Kraemer was a terrific college blocker and is an underrated guard prospect for the NFL. He has athletic and scheme limitations but could start in a power-gap offense.
Tommy Kraemer Player Profile
Kraemer was a phenomenal high school talent out of Elder High School in Cincinnati. Even as a junior, he earned second-team All-USA honors. By that time, he was already hot property in recruiting circles. He received his first offer from Illinois during his sophomore season.
Rated as a five-star recruit and the third-best offensive tackle in the nation, he attracted offers from across the nation. He named Ohio State, Boston College, Northwestern, Duke, and Notre Dame as his final five schools before his junior season. Upon the conclusion of 2014, he committed to Notre Dame, where he never wavered despite receiving a slew of enticing offers.
The teams that missed out on capturing the impressive lineman could only sit back and watch what they’d missed out on during a dominant senior season. Kraemer was credited with 156 pancake blocks as a senior, paving the way for over 5,000 yards of offense. Amongst accolades too many to enumerate, he became the first offensive lineman to be named the Gatorade Ohio Player of the Year since 2006.
Kraemer’s college football career at Notre Dame
Despite his incredibly successful high school career, Kraemer had to wait for his opportunity to shine for the Fighting Irish. He redshirted his freshman year in 2016 before emerging as the starting right tackle the following year. He may have spent a year on the sideline, but his level of success in his first year was akin to his high school days at Elder.
Notre Dame ranked seventh in the nation for rushing, shattering the single-season school rushing record with 3,503 yards. The entire offensive line earned the highest group accolade, the Joe Moore Award. Kraemer was in good company as the line featured future NFL first-round picks Mike McGlinchey and Quenton Nelson.
Kraemer switched to offensive guard for Notre Dame and made 10 starts in 2018 and another seven in 2019. He did not allow a sack as a redshirt junior. Additionally, he conceded just 1 quarterback hit and 3 hurries. Despite suffering a season-ending injury, he still earned second-team All-American honors.
In his final season with the Fighting Irish, he started 10 games, missing just two as Notre Dame reached the College Football Playoffs. Kraemer earned ACC Offensive Lineman of the Week honors following a performance where Notre Dame racked up 561 yards of offense against a previously stingy Boston College defense. After the season, he declared for the 2021 NFL Draft alongside offensive line compatriots Liam Eichenberg, Aaron Banks, and Robert Hainsey.
Tommy Kraemer’s best fits in the 2021 NFL Draft
The four-year starter for Notre Dame brings experience to the offensive guard class in the 2021 NFL Draft. In addition to that experience, he brings a level of physicality to the position. His best fits will be with a team that takes advantage of his skill set and experience as a run blocker. The Fighting Irish have consistently been one of the top rushing teams in the country, with Kraemer at the heart of their offensive line.
As a result, teams like the Seattle Seahawks, Minnesota Vikings, and San Francisco 49ers represent a stellar fit.
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Oliver Hodgkinson is a staff writer for Pro Football Network. You can follow him on Twitter at @ojhodgkinson.