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2021 Irish On Tap NFL Draft Preview: Nick McCloud

Notre Dame cornerback Nick McCloud projects as a late-round pick or an undrafted free agent as the 2021 NFL Draft approaches.
Nick McCloud NFL Draft

Photo: nickmccloud4_/Twitter

Cornerback Nick McCloud only played one season at Notre Dame after transferring from North Carolina State last season. However, McCloud played an impactful role in the 11 games he started in 2020 for the Irish.

McCloud possesses impressive speed, evidenced by an impressive 4.37 40-yard dash time during his pro day in South Bend. Despite only having four career interceptions in his college career, a bright future lies ahead for this speedster corner who was a successful tackler.

McCloud knows how to use his speed to his advantage despite scouts indicating otherwise. The clip below comes from McCloud's time at NC State. In this 2017 game against Notre Dame, he makes a savvy play on the ball, something he did very well for the Irish in 2020.

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Here is a better look at what McCloud can bring to the table as far as a pass defender and a tackler in space:

A dominant Hula Bowl performance, in which he was the MVP, will force scouts to evaluate McCloud as a potential late-round pick. With two interceptions in the game, McCloud proved he can make plays at the next level.

McCloud did record one interception with the Irish in 2020. In Notre Dame's matchup with Pitt, he tracked the ball well and ended up grabbing the interception away from the receiver.

McCloud may not have the eye-popping numbers as far as a true cornerback goes, but he can go up for the ball, touts blazing speed, and has experience at two big-time ACC programs. Even if he goes undrafted, I could see our boys out in Los Angeles and the South Bend Chargers picking him up as a UDFA. Other teams that have been linked to McCloud include the Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos.