Three ND players make Kiper mock draft

If the early forecasts are any indication, Notre Dame could have its most successful NFL draft in two decades.

Mel Kiper Jr. released his initial mock draft this week, and three Irish players make the first round.

Louis Nix leads the trio at No. 15 (Pittsburgh Steelers), with Zack Martin (No. 20, Arizona Cardinals) and Stephon Tuitt (No. 23 Kansas City Chiefs) not far behind.

Notre Dame has not had three players drafted in the first round since 1994, when Bryant Young (No. 7, San Francisco 49ers), Aaron Taylor (No. 16, Green Bay Packers) and Jeff Burris (No. 27, Buffalo Bills) all were taken that early.

The Irish did land two players in the first round two years ago, when Michael Floyd (No. 13, Cardinals) and Harrison Smith (No. 29, Minnesota Vikings) were taken on Night 1.

With Tyler Eifert having been taken No. 21 overall by the Cincinnati Bengals last year, Notre Dame is on track to go three straight years with at least one first-round draft pick.