For the second straight year, a Fort Wayne native heard his name called at the NFL Draft. Carroll graduate and Notre Dame linebacker Drue Tranquill joined Snider grad Jessie Bates III in the league when the Los Angeles Chargers picked him in the fourth round, with the 130th overall selection.
Tranquill will join fellow Irish selection Jerry Tillery, a defensive lineman whom the Chargers picked in the first round on Thursday. They will be the second and third Irish alumni on the team, joining defensive end Isaac Rochell, who was a seventh-round pick in 2017.
The former Carroll star raised his profile with a terrific NFL Combine, putting up 31 reps on the bench press (the most of any linebacker) and running a solid 4.57 40. There were concerns about his injury history – he has torn his ACL in both knees – but he showed no ill effects from those injuries in his final two seasons with the Irish, when he racked up 85 and 86 tackles as a junior and senior, respectively, all while becoming just the 23rd two-time captain in the history of the Irish.
Tranquill will most likely have to make a name for himself on special teams and he has shown a willingness to do whatever it takes to get on the field, which might have boosted his stock even further. Once he does take the field as a linebacker, his quickness and experience as a safety should make him adept at covering faster tight ends and running backs out of the backfield, which is more and more a primary task for linebackers.
In pre-draft interviews, Tranquill emphasized his love for the game, his competitiveness and his versatility as he tried to convince teams of his value.
"I truly believe I'm the most complete football player in this class," Tranquill said in an interview with Pro Football Focus.
He'll make a little more than $3 million through the duration of his rookie contract, according to Over the Cap.