2024 NFL International Player Pathway spotlight: Patrick Murtagh, TE, Australia

The NFL has seen several Aussie Football Rule converts, however, most of them have been punters. The latest non-punter talent hoping to crack into the NFL is a big, athletic, promising talent in former AFL and track athlete Patrick Murtagh, a veteran of the NFL IPP program.

Murtagh takes aim at the NFL  for a second time NFL through the NFL International Player Pathway Program as he was one of the 16 players from around the world selected to compete for their spots on an NFL squad.

Instituted in 2017, the NFL International Player Pathway program aims to give elite international athletes the opportunity to compete at the NFL level, improve their skills, and ultimately earn a spot on an NFL roster.

In 2023, Murtaugh went through the NFL IPP program and was initially assigned to the Detroit Lions. However, after an injury, the former AFL star had to pull out of the program. Many scouts were excited to see him back and healthy as he’s one of this year’s favorites to join an NFL team this spring.

So far, the program has helped players such as Jordan Mailata (Philadelphia Eagles/Australia), Sammis Reyes (Chicago Bears/Chile), and Jakob Johnson (New England Patriots/Germany) earn roster spots in the NFL.

The 6 ‘5″, 220 pound Murtagh has been an Aussie Rules player last three years playing for the Gold Coast Suns developmental team. The 22-year-old is a Gold Coast Suns Academy graduate who first impressed the AFL coaches by being one of the team’s best athletes at the 2019 State combine. There, Murtaugh jumped one of the best vertical leaps.

Murtagh is a raw athlete with a strong track background competing in the triple jump, high jump, and several other events. He also won the state decathlon championship.

The former track star was a late addition to the 2022 NFL International Combine in LondonEngland in October, but managed to impress scouts with his length, build, and explosive jumping ability. He also punted the ball extremely well for scouts following the position drills.


Alex is a former NCAA and semi-pro American football player who is now located in London, where he works in digital marketing. His goal in writing for AFI is to stay involved with the game that has given him so much. Alex enjoys covering leagues and