NFL Draft: Robert Hainsey heading to Tampa Bay as third Notre Dame offensive lineman taken

Michael Wanbaugh
South Bend Tribune

Robert Hainsey become the third Notre Dame offensive lineman selected in the 2021 NFL Draft when he was picked 95th overall by the Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the third round Friday night in Cleveland.

Line mates Liam Eichenberg, No. 42 to Miami, and Aaron Banks, No. 48 to San Francisco, were both taken in Friday's second round.

Notre Dame became the first school to produce three offensive lineman taken within the first three rounds of one draft since Michigan in 2001. It's the first time since 2003 that three or more Notre Dame offensive lineman were drafted the same year.

A two-time team captain, the 6-foot-4½ , 306-pound Hainsey started 34 games at right tackle for the Irish in four seasons. In all he played in 47 games and as a freshman was part of the Irish offensive line group that claimed the Joe Moore Award, which goes to the nation’s best offensive line.

Hainsey likely would have played in every game of his career if not for fractured ankle causing him to miss the last five games of 2019.

Notre Dame’s Robert Hainsey is helped off the field after fracturing his ankle in 2019 against Virginia Tech.

What they were saying

  • “The team that picks him will be getting a very polished player. It didn’t go unnoticed that the Notre Dame guys worked after (Senior Bowl) practice every single day, and I was told Hainsey’s interviews with teams were outstanding.” — NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah
  • “High-cut, top-heavy tackle with good technique but lacks lateral quickness and desired level of agility as a pro. Hainsey is a respected leader and plays with consistent toughness. He's patient, operates with quality hand usage and is generally under control at the point of attack, but is forced to lunge and lean at times to make up for his below-average foot quickness. Handling island duties against athletic edge defenders could always be a problem for him, but a move to guard might diminish some of his limitations and give him a shot as an NFL backup.” — analyst Lance Zierlein

Notre Dame's Robert Hainsey hugs teammate Jayson Ademilola (57) following their loss to Alabama in the 2021 College Football Playoff Rose Bowl game Jan. 1 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

5 things to know about Robert Hainsey

1 — Even after missing five games to a broken ankle, Hainsey was named Offensive Lineman of the Year by the team in 2019.

2 — Before his injury, Hainsey hadn’t allow a sack in 423 plays.

3 — His first collegiate start was in the 2017 Citrus Bowl against LSU, a game the Irish came back to win, 21-17, with the help of quarterback Ian Book in relief.

4 — A native of Pittsburgh, Hainsey starred in high school at the powerhouse IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla.

5 — Majored in finance at Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business

Offensive lineman Robert Hainsey was a two-time team captain for Notre Dame.