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Could ND have three first-round picks?

12/18/2013

Notre Dame has not had three first-round draft picks in a single draft since 1994. Twenty years later, that could change.

Todd McShay released his first mock draft this week, listing NFL teams by winning percentage and using some assumptions about early college departures (ahem, Stephon Tuitt) to predict how he thinks the first round will shake out.

Though quarterback-heavy, McShay has three Irish players among the first 32 picks, with Louis Nix at No. 12 (Steelers), Tuitt at No. 16 (Cowboys) and Zack Martin at No. 31 (Broncos). Martin in particular draws some high praise from McShay, who likes the left tackle's versatility and work ethic.

Mel Kiper Jr., meanwhile, released his latest Big Board, which features Tuitt and Nix at Nos. 8 and 11, respectively, praising both of them for their versatility.

Of course, Tuitt needs to declare for the pros before any of this can become possible in May. And he did not sound close to a decision about his future when he met with reporters at Friday's team banquet.

If he does make the jump, however, it will be interesting to see what kind of dent Notre Dame can make in the first round. Alabama and Texas A&M are the only other schools with three players in McShay's mock first round.