Notre Dame Football: San Francisco 49ers
- SI.com's Andy Staples looks at what postseason reforms could mean for Notre Dame.
- Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt tells the NFL Network's Andrew Siciliano that Larry Fitzgerald wasn't involved in the franchise's decision to draft Michael Floyd.
- Harrison Smith won over the Vikings at the Senior Bowl, Mike Strange writes in the Knoxville News Sentinel.
- The Minneapolis Star-Tribune's Sid Hartman says the Vikings are getting an Irish accent with so many draft picks from Notre Dame.
- Darius Fleming thinks his early role with the 49ers will be on special teams, Eric Branch writes in the San Francisco Chronicle. (Also, Fleming used to room with new San Francisco teammate Ian Williams at Notre Dame.)
Robert Blanton became the latest in the Irish-to-Vikings pipeline Saturday, going to Minnesota in the fifth round (139th overall) one day after the franchise drafted the cornerback's teammate from Notre Dame's defensive backfield, Harrison Smith.
Minnesota now has five former Irish players on its roster: Blanton, Smith, Kyle Rudolph, John Carlson and John Sullivan.
Darius Fleming was drafted a round later (165th overall) by the 49ers, who made Fleming the first Notre Dame linebacker drafted since 2004, when the Saints took Courtney Watson. San Francisco had not drafted a Notre Dame player since taking Arnaz Battle in the sixth round in 2003.
Several former Irish players signed free-agent deals with NFL teams -- defensive end Ethan Johnson with the Chiefs, running back Jonas Gray with the Dolphins and offensive tackle Taylor Dever with the Cowboys. Guard Trevor Robinson posted on Twitter on Sunday that he signed with the Bengals.
Notre Dame Fighting Irish, Harrison Smith, Jonas Gray, Trevor Robinson, Robert Blanton, Ethan Johnson, Darius Fleming, Kyle Rudolph, Miami Dolphins, Dallas Cowboys, Taylor Dever, Courtney Watson, Arnaz Battle, San Francisco 49ers, Minnesota Vikings, Kansas City Chiefs, John Carlson, Cincinnati Bengals, John Sullivan
A former Irish player remains on each of the four remaining NFL teams as they prepare for conference-championship weekend.
Either Sergio Brown (New England Patriots), Tom Zbikowski (Baltimore Ravens), Ian Williams (San Francisco 49ers) or Justin Tuck (New York Giants) will win the Super Bowl.
Williams, signed as an undrafted free agent this season, is the most recent to play for Notre Dame. Tuck, drafted in 2005, is the oldest of the group.
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