Irish-born Whelan and McCourt sign as undrafted free agents

Enniskerry native Whelan signs with Saints while Dublin-born McCourt links up with Chargers

Both Daniel Whelan and James McCourt have signed as undrafted free agents for NFL teams following the conclusion of this week's draft. Whelan, originally from Enniskerry, has penned a deal as a punter with the New Orleans Saints while Dublin-born James McCourt will be at the LA Chargers' training camp.

Were either player to earn a final roster spot, they would be the first Irish-born player to suit up in the NFL since 1985.

Whelan, the former St Gerrard’s pupil who completed his degree at the University of California-Davis, will compete with Blake Gillikin, who was the starting punter for the Saints during the 2021 season, for a roster spot in training camp.

James McCourt, formerly of the University of Illinois, will compete with Dustin Hopkins to be the Chargers’ kicker. The Chargers had kicker trouble last season when they cut Tristan Vizcaino after he struggled during the regular season. Hopkins, an eight-year veteran, was signed in his place.


Both Whelan and McCourt are expected to report to a rookie minicamps in the coming weeks.