The second Notre Dame player off the board on Day 3 of the 2021 NFL Draft is edge rusher Daelin Hayes at pick #171 overall to the Baltimore Ravens. Hayes is extremely athletic, was a captain at Notre Dame, a great locker room guy, and always made plays for the Irish defense regardless of his role.
Hayes was more of a complementary player last season as Khalid Kareem and Julian Okwara were Notre Dame's starters. But toward the end of the season when Okwara went down, Daelin Hayes showed why he was a captain and answered the call. His draft stock has only continued to improve since then.
At his size, Hayes could be used as an edge rusher or even an outside linebacker as some NFL teams project him. A pass rush specialist at Notre Dame and an extremely opportunistic player, Hayes makes the best of his chances and has a big-play factor that you want from an edge rusher.
Hayes landing with a team that has such a treasured defensive history has to be a surreal feeling. As he competes for a spot on the Ravens' roster, Hayes will have to be opportunistic just as he was during his time at Notre Dame. I foresee Hayes seeing the field this season, whether it's on special teams or as a rotational pass rusher. Daelin Hayes belongs in the NFL and now he has the chance to prove it. Hayes will join his former Notre Dame teammate Ronnie Stanley in Baltimore, which will likely make for some interesting Irsih-on-Irish practice battles.