Another talented former Notre Dame Fighting Irish player comes off the board on the last day of the NFL draft. With the 17th pick of the 7th round, going at 231 overall, the New Orleans Saints have chosen TE Alizé Mack. That’s the 6th Notre Dame Tight End to be drafted during the Brian Kelly era.
Mack is the first Notre Dame player to be drafted by the Saints in the Sean Payton era. Mack had an interesting but fruitful career at Notre Dame; he sustained a few injuries after coming in as a highly-touted recruit, and ended up flourishing as a vital part of Brian Kelly’s offense in his senior year: he had 36 catches for 360 yards and 3 touchdowns. Scouts note that he was incredibly versatile, as well:
Alizé is also the first Fighting Irish player to be selected by the New Orleans Saints since Courtney Watson, who heard his name called by the organization in the second round of the 2004 NFL draft. Mack joins a roster with veteran tight ends Jared Cook and Josh Hill, hoping to compete for a spot with new guys like Dan Arnold and Garrett Griffin.
That’s six TE’s to be drafted to the NFL from Notre Dame in the Brian Kelly era. We hope Alizé will be immensely successful when he arrives in New Orleans. Here’s what Alizé himself had to say about the news, as well as some insider info on the fruit of Alizé’s labor from OFD’s own Jude Seymour:
Congrats to Alizé, and go Saints!
Alizé Mack was holding back tears a few minutes after the New Orleans Saints drafted him on Saturday (April 27).
“Oh man, I can’t believe it,” he said during a video chat with New Orleans media. “It’s a dream come true.”
The Saints selected Mack, a Notre Dame tight end, with the 231st overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. Mack met with the Saints at the combine and took an official pre-draft visit in New Orleans where he met with tight ends coach Dan Campbell and head coach Sean Payton, among others.
“It felt like home as soon as I came down there,” he said. “I’m going to take full responsibility and full advantage of this opportunity, and I can’t wait.”
Mack is 6-foot-4, 249 pounds and finished the 2018 season with 36 catches for 360 yards and three touchdowns, and he’s the first of two seventh-round picks for the Saints.
The Saints signed Jared Cook in free agency and have Josh Hill returning, so Mack will likely compete with Dan Arnold and Garrett Griffin for a backup role in 2019.
Mack thought he would be drafted higher, and he said the Saints “definitely” won’t regret picking him. When asked what he could add to the offense, he quickly replied, “A weapon.”
“You’re going to get a guy who can do it all, a guy who can line up in-line, a guy who can line up on the outside and be a mismatch problem vertically down the field, a guy who can be a huge red zone threat,” he said. “And more so than that, you’re going to get a dude that’s going to come to work every single day regardless of what’s going on, I’m going to come in every single day ready to go, ready to compete — no doubt.”
The Saints received pick No. 231 from the Browns last year when they traded defensive tackle Devaroe Lawrence to Cleveland after the preseason. The Saints are also due to pick 244th later in the seventh round.
Notre Dame tight end Alize Mack, who went to Bishop Gorman High School, was selected by the New Orleans Saints in the seventh round of Saturday’s NFL draft.
Mack (6 feet 4 inches, 249 pounds) was the 17th choice of the final round.
He caught 36 passes for 360 yards and three touchdowns last season.
Julian Love knew a life-changing call was coming.
It was just a matter of when.
“I was ready, I was waiting for my name to be called to see where I’d be a good fit,” Love said in a phone interview Saturday. “When it finally came, I was very excited. I feel like I landed at the right spot.”
That spot is with the Giants, who selected the Notre Dame cornerback Saturday in the fourth round of the NFL draft. The Nazareth graduate, who grew up in Westchester, was the No. 108 pick.
He had family with him when the news came.
“They’ve been there my whole life supporting me,” Love said. “It was pretty special to be here with them.”
Love earned consensus…
—Highly targeted, highly productive tight end in 2018 who heads into the NFL with experience as a receiver and run-blocker.
—Good pass-blocker who excels in line when asked to keep defensive ends away from the quarterback; has a wide base and good hand placement.
—Great at picking up first downs, as he can find the sticks and run a clean route while making himself a good target for quarterbacks.
—Uses arm length (33¾”) to go get the ball away from his frame.
—Ran well at the combine (4.7-second 40) for his size (6’4″, 249 lbs) and vertical-jumped an impressive 36 inches.
—Not very physical at the point of attack and doesn’t seem to like running over the middle; would rather play in space.
—Flexibility and burst are limited; doesn’t explode out of breaks or out of his stance.
—Hands are average; no standout drops, but there are focus issues at times, especially over the middle, that leave you wanting more consistency.
—Run blocking lacks power and pop; doesn’t look to give max effort when working to the second level.
—Offers limited run-after-catch ability.
Notre Dame is renowned as a tight end factory, and Alize Mack will have a chance to continue that legacy, but his tape has given rise to concerns about toughness and drops. That will hurt his stock and is why we’re rating him as a late-Day 3 player.