- Matt Fortuna, ESPN Staff Writer
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As we noted earlier this week, this year's NFL draft has the chance to be one of the better ones for Notre Dame, historically speaking. It may also be the first one in 20 years in which three former Fighting Irish players get drafted in the first round, as the 1994 draft saw Bryant Young (7th), Aaron Taylor (16th) and Jeff Burris (27th) taken early.
With the draft approaching later tonight (8 ET, ESPN), here's one last look at the three potential first-rounders from Notre Dame this time around.
Zack Martin, LT. Mel Kiper Jr. has Martin ranked No. 8 on his Big Board. Todd McShay has him at No. 9 on his board. Kiper says Martin has been his biggest riser over the past month. Both analysts tout his quickness, and both say his length could eventually have him moving to the right side.
Stephon Tuitt, DE. Kiper has Tuitt at No. 25, while McShay has him at No. 27. Kiper loves the 6-foot-5, 304-pounder's ability to disrupt passing lanes, and both analysts love his ability to play in any system, though McShay says Tuitt needs to show more consistent effort.
Louis Nix, DT. Interestingly enough, Kiper has Nix at No. 49, while McShay has him at No. 36. Kiper says the zero technique is not as coveted as it used to be, while McShay liked Nix's tape better in 2012 than 2013.
Kiper ranked 100 players, with tight end Troy Niklas coming in at No. 68. McShay, who ranked 300 players, has Niklas at No. 59.