American Football

Can JD Bertrand Help the Commanders at Linebacker?


Clemson v Notre Dame
Photo by Nick Cammett/Diamond Images via Getty Images

Hogs Haven takes a look at 2024 NFL Draft prospects that could contribute to the Commanders

JD Bertrand, LB
School: Notre Dame | Conference: Independents
College Experience: Senior | Age: 23
Height / Weight: 6’1” / 235 lbs
Projected Draft Status: Rounds 4-6

Player Comparison: Josey Jewell

College Statistics

Defense & Fumbles Table
Tackles Def Int Fumbles
Year School Conf Class Pos G Solo Ast Tot Loss Sk Int Yds Avg TD PD FR Yds TD FF
*2020 Notre Dame ACC SO LB 3 5 2 7 0.0 0.0 0 0 0 0 0 0
*2021 Notre Dame Ind JR LB 13 65 37 102 6.5 1.0 0 0 0 1 1 1
*2022 Notre Dame Ind JR 12 45 37 82 8.5 2.0 0 0 0 3 0 0 0 0
*2023 Notre Dame Ind SR LB 12 41 35 76 7.5 2.5 0 0 0 5 0 0 0 1
Career Notre Dame 156 111 267 22.5 5.5 0 0 0 9 1 0 0 2
Provided by CFB at Sports Reference: View Original Table
Generated 2/20/2024.

Player Overview

JD Bertrand is a two-time captain for Notre Dame. On the field, JD Bertrand has been prolific, leading the Fighting Irish in tackles for three consecutive seasons. Off the field, he was an Academic All-American and named Notre Dame’s Man of the Year. Pretty impressive for the four-star recruit out of Georgia that helped his high school win back-to-back state championships. Once Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah moved on to the NFL, Bertrand entered the starting lineup in 2021, playing a more traditional linebacker role. That year, he topped 100 tackles, the first player to do so since 2018. He followed that up in 2022 by being named Notre Dame’s Defensive Player of the Year. In 2023, he helped lead the fifth-best defense in college football.


  • Excellent size for the position
  • Has good top-end speed
  • Can shoot gaps and beat blockers to spots to make plays
  • Rarely misses tackles
  • Fluid mover in space who easily picks up coverage assignments


  • Despite size, can struggle getting off blocks
  • Inconsistent ability to stack and shed blockers
  • Can miss plays by being too aggressive attacking the line of scrimmage
  • Limited ball production; no INTs in college career

Let’s See His Work

How He Fits on the Commanders

The Commanders have had the worst luck finding linebackers. Jamin Davis has improved, but hasn’t quite lived up to his first-round draft position. The team will have to decide whether to pick up his fifth-year option by May. Finding someone to play next to him has proven just as difficult. Bringing in Cody Barton to replace Cole Holcomb was a failed experiment. Khaleke Hudson has shown some promise, but he is set to be a free agent.

JD Bertrand could help stabilize the position. There are some flashes of wow plays to go along with consistently good play. His weaknesses are correctable with coaching. He also has intangibles like leadership that would be welcome in any locker room. If the Commanders sign a starting linebacker in free agency to pair with Davis, Bertrand could serve as depth and a special teamer that might slide into a starting role if the team isn’t sold on Davis. At worst, he will be a quality depth player.

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