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Friday, March 1, 2024
The Observer

Jaguars draft Koyack in seventh round, four others sign after going undrafted

With the 12th pick of the seventh round in the NFL Draft, the Jacksonville Jaguars selected former Irish tight end Ben Koyack on Saturday, marking the 78th consecutive year a former Notre Dame player has been drafted, including supplemental rounds.

Coming off a senior season in which he caught 30 passes for 317 yards and two touchdowns, Koyack was named to the all-FBS Independent team and a semifinalist for the John Mackey Award, given to the nation's top tight end. He is also the sixth straight Irish starter at that position to be drafted.

Koyack joins a team on which no tight end caught more than 26 passes and 289 yards in 2014. The Jaguars also finished second-to-last in the NFL in yards passing last season. Entering 2015, the team has six tight ends on its roster, including Koyack.

Koyack's selection kept Notre Dame's streak of 78 drafts alive, but 2015 also marks the end of a 15-year stretch in which the Irish had a player selected in the first four rounds. The Irish return 21 starters for the 2015 campaign.

Five former Irish players, including running back Cam McDaniel, went undrafted, but several signed with teams as free agents immediately following the draft.

DaVaris Daniels, who last played for the Irish in 2013 and missed all of last season due to an investigation into academic dishonesty, quickly signed with the Minnesota Vikings on Saturday night, announcing the deal via Twitter.

Kyle Brindza, Notre Dame's starting kicker for the last three years, also signed soon after the draft with the Detroit Lions, joining veteran Matt Prater on the roster.

Cornerback Cody Riggs, who transferred to Notre Dame for 2014 after playing three seasons at Florida and anchored the young Irish secondary last year, signed with the Tennessee Titans, according to reports from Nick Ironside of 247Sports.

Former Irish quarterback Andrew Hendrix, who transferred to Miami (Ohio) and started for his final season, signed with the Oakland Raiders, per a tweet from RedHawks head coach Chuck Martin. Hendrix is the fourth quarterback on Oakland's roster.

McDaniel has yet to sign with a team.