Lions 2024 Draft Prospect of the Day: Cam Hart, CB, Notre Dame

USA Today

The Lions Draft Prospect of the Day rolls onward toward the 2024 NFL Scouting Combine and moves back to cornerback today.

The focus is on players who should hold some appeal to the Lions in the draft, with a focus on the more likely positions the team will be targeting. If you’re looking for quarterbacks or upper-echelon running backs, you’re probably not going to find those here. Outside cornerbacks, defensive linemen, interior offensive linemen, some wide receivers and offensive tackles figure to appear along the path to April’s draft. Not all of the players will be top-100 prospects, either.

Today’s prospect is a big outside cornerback the Lions met with during Senior Bowl week

Cam Hart, CB, Notre Dame

Height: 6-foot-2 3/4

Weight: 207 (measured at Senior Bowl)

Hart headed from Baltimore to South Bend as a five-year player for the Fighting Irish. He was a high school wide receiver who transitioned into an outside corner at Notre Dame, starting 32 games and playing in 45 total. He appeared on the Bruce Feldman “Freaks” list for 2023.

The 23-year-old Hart was a team captain for the Fighting Irish and recorded 85 tackles and 11 TFLs in his final three seasons. In his college career, Hart broke up 19 passes and picked off two INTs. He allowed a 50 percent completion rate in those final three years playing outside CB almost exclusively.

To get to know more about Hart’s personality and which Lions players he trains with already, check out our interview with him from the Senior Bowl.

What I like

  •  The length is obvious, but Hart also understands how to use his length to his advantage in pressing the sideline and cutting down throwing angles
  • Adept at staying on the hip pocket of receivers on deeper routes
  • Stays in phase well in man coverage, doesn’t overreact to fakes and double moves
  • Very good at reading and attacking screens and swing passes
  • Patient in zone without being too passive
  • Long speed is impressive for a taller CB and he does have a “chase” gear
  • Plays within himself well; understands his own game and his strengths and weaknesses–high football IQ

What worries me going into the NFL

  •  Overstrides coming out of transition at times, which leaves him vulnerable to quicker-than-fast receivers
  • Doesn’t always find the ball in the air fast enough to make plays even when he’s in a position to make them
  • Has had three separate shoulder surgeries while at Notre Dame
  • Presents a lot of target area for blockers to engage and isn’t great at disengaging from blocks
  • Gets too tall when tackling at times

Best game I watched: USC

Worst game I watched: Pittsburgh

Overall

 Hart’s physical traits and gifts are obvious and would certainly hold appeal for the Lions. He’s a smart, selfless player with decent production in both run and pass defense. 

The film from Notre Dame and his work during Senior Bowl week screams Day 2 pick and a potential early starter. However, the medical evaluation will be critical. Three shoulder surgeries are indicative of durability questions. It also appears as if Hart might be protecting the shoulder a bit as a tackler at times, too.

While Lions GM Brad Holmes hasn’t shown an aversion to players with injury history, it’s uncertain what impact it will have this year and for Hart. He’s a player who could drop into the fifth or sixth round because of those concerns even though he’s a top-100 caliber talent.

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