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2024 Combine

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Tackle Joe Alt Had 'Great Visit' with Jets at NFL Combine 

Former Notre Dame Team Captain: ‘Whatever It Takes to Get the Job Done’

Notre Dame offensive lineman Joe Alt participates in a drill during the 2024 NFL Scouting Combine on Sunday, March 3, 2024 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Kara Durrette/NFL)

Joe Alt is among the top offensive linemen expected to be selected in the first round of April's NFL Draft. At last week's Combine in Indianapolis, the Notre Dame product spoke about his comfort as he prepares for his professional career, but also about his comfort shifting his focus from one sport to another (ice hockey to football) and one position to another (tight end to tackle) during his life in sports.

"I played hockey until second grade, but I was just too big for the skates," Alt, who grew up in the hockey hotbed of North Oaks, MN, said. "I knew how to skate, but hockey went by the wayside."

Alt's older brother Mark, a 32-year-old defenseman, has played for three teams in the NHL since being drafted by Carolina in 2010, and most recently played for a club in Germany.

In high school at Totino-Grace, Joe Alt saw time at tight end and offensive tackle. It was part of a scenario established by his dad John Atl, who played 13 seasons in the NFL for the Kansas City Chiefs.

"My dad did the same thing, tight end his first two years of college [at Iowa} and ended up playing on the O-line," Joe Alt said. "He's the one who told me to play tight end to keep the game fun and get my foot speed. We kind of knew my game was going to be transformed to tackle, just the way my body was growing.

"When I got to Notre Dame, I knew I was going to play tackle. And when I got that opportunity, I made a commitment to myself to put a lot of time and effort in. In the film room, I got the speed of the game under control. Film was important to get the speed of the game under control and do what I needed to do."

In his first two years with the Fighting Irish, Alt played both as a tight end and on the offensive line in 13 games. As a junior, Alt played defensive end and tight end, making 17 receptions for 142 yards.

"For me, playing tight end was really helpful, I came into my athletic ability," he said. "I kept my feet quick and that was huge once I transferred to tackle, having that foot speed and that stuff already there. Once I transferred to left tackle, I kind of simulated into pass pro and it was really huge for me working on getting my punch and stroke down. That wasn't emphasized at tight end.

"I saw it coming, my body was growing and I knew that was where I was going. I started doing O-line drills when I was still playing tight end, so the change was pretty easy for me."

This year's draft class is rife with promising offensive linemen, a position the Jets are in need of filling. At present, second-year center Joe Tippmann and Alijah Vera-Tucker (who is coming off ACL surgery) are projected to be the starters. GM Joe Douglas and head coach Robert Saleh have already said that the versatile AVT will be anchored at one position in the coming season.

Alt is among a group of O-linemen at the top of the heap that includes Olu Fashanu of Penn State, Taliese Fuaga from Oregon State and J.C. Latham of Alabama. The Jets, at present, have the No. 10 overall selection in the draft and there's a good possibility one of those four will still be available when the Green & White are on the clock.

At last week's NFL Combine, Alt said he met with Jets' officials, as he did with several other teams.

"I met with them, I know quite a bit about the organization, and I know a few people on their staff, so it was a great visit," Alt said.

Asked about the possibility of guarding the blindside of QB Aaron Rodgers, Alt said: "It would be awesome. It would truly be an honor. I've watched him when I was growing up in Minnesota, so I've seen a lot of him play when he played for the Packers, so it would be pretty cool."

See top images of the offensive line prospects working out at the 2024 NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis.

Alt, who turned 21 last week (Feb. 28), is deceptively agile and athletic for a guy who is 6-9, 321.

In his Combine profile, draft analyst Lance Zierlein of said of Alt: "Long-limbed team captain [at Notre Dame] with NFL-quality tackle play coursing through his veins. Alt plays a disciplined brand of football, avoiding penalties and working with fluid transitions from entry to sustain to finish as a run blocker. Alt is a capable drive blocker with the foot quickness to play onto the second level."

Alt declared for the NFL draft after a junior season in which he was named a unanimous first team All-American. His play up front helped the Fighting Irish emerge as one of the most prolific offenses in school's storied football history -- second with 39.1 points per game, No. 8 averaging 5.3 yards per rush, third in passing yards per attempt (9.13), second in yards per play (6.94), seventh in total yards (5,619) and first in fourth-quarter points (135)

"There's that competitive gene in me, when I step on the field – I'm a different person," Alt said. "I do everything to win on every play. Outside of football, I've always been competitive, whether in board games or playing cornhole in the backyard. We've always been competitive in the family.

"I've been raised in a football family. I love the game. I take a lot of pride in my refusal to lose and whatever it takes to get the job done."

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