Former Notre Dame tight end Troy Niklas was chosen by the Arizona Cardinals with the No. 52 pick in the second round of the NFL draft Friday night.
Niklas was the third former Irish player selected in the draft, joining Zack Martin who went to the Dallas Cowboys with the No. 16 pick Thursday and Stephon Tuitt who went to the Pittsburgh Steelers with No. 46 pick Friday.
The 6-foot-6, 270-pounder had 37 receptions for 573 yards with tix touchdowns after moving from linebacker to tight end after his freshman season.
“Niklas to me is an in-line wide,” NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock said. “If he wants to become the best blocking tight end in the NFL, he will be. He only played that position two years at the collegiate level. If you put the Stanford tape on, he kind of got schooled by Trent Murphy, an outstanding linebacker from Stanford.
“From a technique perspective, he has a lot to learn. If I was him in my heart and soul I’d want to become the best blocker at tight end because that would guarantee me a 10-year career. He also catches the ball well, both short and intermediate.”