clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

On the Draft Board: Notre Dame’s Isaiah Foskey

During Combine Week, Kansas City met with a first-team All-American edge rusher.

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

Notre Dame v Navy Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images

The NFL Combine kicked off on Monday, leading to many reports and rumors about the NFL Draft. On Wednesday, Notre Dame edge defender Isaiah Foskey revealed he had met with the Kansas City Chiefs.

Foskey is one of the more accomplished rushers in the class, earning first-team All-American honors from multiple media outlets in 2022. Here’s what to know about one of Kansas City’s potential draft targets:


Foskey was invited to the 2023 Senior Bowl, where he measured in at nearly 6’5” and 262 pounds. He showed off 10-inch hands and a wingspan of 81 5/8 inches — one of the larger measurables among the defensive linemen in attendance.

Coming out of De La Salle High School in Concord, California, Foskey was a four-star recruit. Once he arrived in South Bend, he was instantly a special-teams contributor, blocking a punt as a true freshman. From his sophomore season on, he was a staple in the Notre Dame defense.

Foskey finished his four collegiate seasons with 25 sacks — a Notre Dame record. He added 28 tackles for loss in 37 games. In 2021 alone, Foskey forced six of the seven fumbles he recorded for the Fighting Irish.

Film evaluation

In his final two seasons, Foskey was the primary overhang linebacker. Depending on the play that was called, this meant he was coming up to the line to rush the passer or set an edge — but he could also have coverage responsibilities.

While that versatility can be valuable, it can also be detrimental to a player’s development. We see this in Foskey’s play strength at the line of scrimmage. He doesn’t shed blocks easily. When he’s not winning a rush move, he doesn’t have the raw power to generate enough push to collapse a pocket.

So Foskey tries to win with his cognizant, effective hands. His favorite move around the edge involves quickly swiping down the offensive tackle’s hands— and then propelling himself past the tackle’s outside shoulder towards the quarterback.

While this has worked for him, there have also been times he hasn’t shown the bend to really turn the corner and get into the pocket. So even when he wins a hand fight, he can be washed out of a play.

And since he doesn’t have natural power, he struggles to tighten the pocket — which could at least make the quarterback feel his presence. In the NFL, Foskey will need to build on his hand swipes by developing some other moves.

While Foskey doesn’t have the foundation of power, there are times when he fires out with good leverage — and is able to generate power from that. It shows up on these running plays, where his good first step and punch give him an initial advantage that leads to a tackle on three occasions. Unfortunately, there are few examples of these kinds of controlling blocks.

How he fits with the Chiefs

In Kansas City, Foskey would have to convert to being a full-time defensive end — which he has the physical size to do. While he has sound fundamentals as an EDGE, he lacks the ability to disrupt a play. That may make him more a long-term prospect than a player who can contribute immediately. Before he could be a starter or the Chiefs, he’ll need to work on both his power and rushing ability.

The bottom line

Foskey has the size of a player Kansas City might target for defensive end. In college, however, that wasn’t the way he was used. If the Chiefs select him — which would likely have to be in Round 2 or later — they’d be bringing in a sound football player who will need to be developed into a true defensive end.

NEW: Join Arrowhead Pride Premier

If you love Arrowhead Pride, you won’t want to miss Pete Sweeney in your inbox each week as he delivers deep analysis and insights on the Chiefs' path to the Super Bowl.