Blue and Gold Illustrated

June-July 2016

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

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Page 117 of 127

IRISH IN THE PROS BY ANDREW OWENS P ro Football Focus included three former Notre Dame players on its list of the top 101 performers during the 2015 NFL season. The publication, which breaks down film of each NFL game, listed Min- nesota Vikings safety Harrison Smith No. 22, Dallas Cowboys right guard Zack Martin No. 54 and Cincinnati Bengals tight end Tyler Eifert No. 80 among the league's standouts last year. Smith, a fourth-year player for the Vikings after the organization se- lected him in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft, earned the distinc- tion of being the league's top safety. "Harrison Smith is capable of do- ing everything you need a player at that position to do — and do all of it well," the article stated. "He graded highly in every facet of play PFF mea- sures, including discipline and penal- ties, and is the fulcrum around which the Minnesota secondary swings." Smith recorded 66 tackles, two in- terceptions and one forced fumble during the 2015 season. Martin, who reached the Pro Bowl this past winter, has already made a splash in the league with the Cow- boys. According to Pro Football Fo- cus, he allowed just one sack in 2015. "He may not have been the best guard in any one area, but was very good in all of them, forming part of a dominant line that made Darren Zack Martin Recognized As One Of NFL's Top Performers Pro Football Focus ranked Martin No. 54 on its list of 101 standouts from the 2015 NFL season. PHOTO BY JAMES D. SMITH

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