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Notre Dame Viewing Guide to the NFL Playoffs

Written by Liam Farrell|Senior Staff Writer|Twitter/X: @LiamFarrell_IT

Via Notre Dame Football


As the college football season has officially come to a close, the NFL playoffs are the last form of football entertainment for the 2023-2024 season. There were plenty of Notre Dame players making enormous impacts on NFL rosters, as the Irish had the second most Pro Bowl players from any college across America. As the playoff picture has come to image, it's time to breakdown and create a viewing guide for Irish fans to see their former superstars compete for a Super Bowl ring. Let's see which Irish players will be playing this postseason.


Kyle Hamilton: Baltimore Ravens


The first player worth spotlighting is none other than the All-Pro Safety, Kyle Hamilton. Hamilton, who was the 14th overall pick in the 2022 draft, has had a breakout sophomore season, landing him as a Pro Bowler and an All-Pro selection. Hamilton racked up 4 interceptions, along with a forced fumble, and 13 pass deflections. The facet of Hamilton's game that is most valuable to the number 1 seeded Baltimore Ravens is his blitzing ability. Hamilton's unique blend of size and speed have made the 6'4" safety from Atlanta, Georgia, so elite in this ferocious Ravens' defense. With the Ravens securing the top seed in the AFC, Hamilton will spend the Wild Card weekend nursing a knee injury suffered on Christmas Day in their victory over the San Francisco 49ers.





Kyren Williams: Los Angeles Rams


Another former Irish player that jumped on the scene in his second year is running back Kyren Williams. Williams, a 5th round selection in the 2022 draft, has been the missing piece that Sean McVay and the Rams have been missing at the running back position since Todd Gurley. Williams is a superstar who can frankly do it all. At his time at Notre Dame, Williams was excellent after first contact, and seemed to never go down after the first hit. With his prior use at wide receiver in high school, there were rumors that Williams might've been converted to a slot wide receiver because he had such good hands. However, the biggest strength in Kyren's toolkit is his ability in the pass protection game. In the 2020 regular season victory over Clemson, Williams' pass protection stole the show in Notre Dame's upset win. This season, Williams is third behind only Christian McCaffrey and Derek Henry in rushing yards. On the other hand, Williams only played in 12 games compared to McCaffrey's 16 and Henry's 17 game season, which leads to naming Williams the most efficient running back in the league this year. Williams was also top 10 in the league in rushing touchdowns with 12 total. The Rams will be lining it up against the Detroit Lions this Sunday at 8:00 EST.


Zack Martin: Dallas Cowboys


In the 2023 season, Zack Martin has maintained his status of being the top interior offensive lineman in the NFL. The 33-year-old guard from Indianapolis, Indiana, has been selected for another All-Pro team, and another Pro Bowl game. This rounds Martin's total up to 8 Pro Bowl selections, which is a truly insane run. This 2023 season, Martin only committed one penalty. One penalty, and it was a false start. In his 10-year career, Martin has only committed 7 holding penalties. Martin's interior force is a key reason why the Cowboys always have one of the highest regarded offensive lines in the league. Martin and the Cowboys will be facing off against the 7th seeded Green Bay Packers this Sunday at 4:30 EST.


Brandon Aubrey: Dallas Cowboys


While never suiting up for the Fighting Irish on the football field, Brandon Aubrey has been one of the best storylines across the NFL this season. A Notre Dame soccer star, Aubrey has solidified himself as one of the premier kickers in the NFL. Aubrey has gone 36/38 from the field this year, a percentage that earned himself an All-Pro nomination. Aubrey's story from being a converted soccer player-to the USFL-to being a software engineer- to a tryout with the Dallas Cowboys has been the feel-good story of the year. Aubrey will be having high pressure kicks inside AT&T Stadium this Sunday at 4:30 EST.





Other Names to Watch:


Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah: Cleveland Browns. A Pro Bowl and All Pro snub, JOK has shown the same physicality he did during his time at Notre Dame. JOK leads the Browns in tackles with 101 total tackles, along with 2 interceptions and 6 pass deflections. JOK will be spearheading this Browns' defense Saturday afternoon against the Houston Texans.


Liam Eichenberg: Miami Dolphins. Eichenberg has had a much improved third year with the Dolphins. He was only flagged for holding once this season and had two pre-snap penalties this year as well. Eichenberg will be pitted against a reeling Chiefs defense in the Wild Card round.


Drue Tranquill: Kansas City Chiefs. After his departure from the Chargers, Tranquill had a bit of a letdown year in his new environment in Kansas City. The 5th year man out of Fort Wayne, Indiana, will have a tough task in stopping the high-powered Miami Dolphins offense this Saturday night.


Ben Skowronek: Los Angeles Rams. The transfer from Northwestern has found great success with his stint in Los Angeles. Skowronek has been a special teams' superstar for McVay and the Rams, along with getting meaningful snaps in at wide receiver. With the emergence of Puka Nacua and Cooper Kupp getting back to full health, Skowronek has been seen less in the Rams offensive effort. However, Skowronek is the Rams' best gunner in the punting unit. The Rams face off against the Lions this Sunday.


Robert Hainsey: Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Somewhat of a forgotten name around the Notre Dame community, Robert Hainsey has had continued success in Tampa Bay even after Tom Brady's retirement. In his three years in the league, Hainsey has coincidentally started at three different positions. This season, he is Tampa Bay's starting center. Hainsey will have his hands full with the formidable Eagles' pass rush on Monday night.





Brock Wright: Detroit Lions. Wright, the backup tight end with the Lions, has shown to be a dynamic weapon in the pass catching game. After the Lions traded superstar TJ Hockenson to the Vikings last name, Wright displayed his ability to be the premier tight end in an NFL offense. However, the Lions drafted Sam LaPorta in the 2023 NFL Draft, and LaPorta took over the reins as the number 1 tight end. Nonetheless, Wright will definitely see playing time Sunday night against the Rams.


Chase Claypool: Miami Dolphins. The reserve wide receiver will be facing off against Tranquill and the Chiefs on Saturday. Claypool is expected very limited playing time, as he has rarely been used since his trade from the Chicago Bears.


Romeo and Julian Okwara: Detroit Lions. The Okwara brothers were some of the best Notre Dame pass rushers of the 2010s. These days they serve in a backup role to superstar Aiden Hutchinson. The Okwara brothers have totaled 2 sacks a piece this 2023 season and will be trying to pressure Matthew Stafford as much as possible this Sunday night.


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