Irish in the NFL: Quenton Nelson Makes Pro Bowl History

Quenton Nelson will play in the Pro Bowl as a rookie.

Leading up to the 2018 NFL Draft, most scouts and experts were in agreement that Notre Dame guard Quenton Nelson was one of the safest possible picks a team could make. His skill set and collegiate production made it clear that he would have a great chance of succeeding at the next level.

During his rookie season with the Indianapolis Colts, Nelson lived up to the hype.

The former Irish guard was a key part of an offensive line revival in Indianapolis, coinciding with the return of quarterback Andrew Luck. The end result of that combination could very well be a playoff appearance for the Colts.

For his efforts, Quenton Nelson was named to the 2019 Pro Bowl.

Nelson is the first Colts rookie offensive lineman since 1983 to earn the honor and only the third in history. He has played every down so far in 2018 and played a key role in protecting Luck. As a unit, the Colts have only allowed 16 sacks all season — second best in the NFL. They are the No. 6 overall offensive line in the league according to Pro Football Focus.

Individually, Pro Football Focus has Nelson as the No. 8 guard in the NFL.

In addition to Quenton Nelson, former Notre Dame football players Zack Martin (Dallas Cowboys) and Harrison Smith (Minnesota Vikings) were also named to the Pro Bowl. Martin is making his fifth Pro Bowl appearance, while Smith is making his fourth.

Next: Notre Dame Football: What a Difference a Decade Makes

The 2019 Pro Bowl will be played at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, FL on Jan. 27 at 3 p.m. ET. It will be televised nationally on ESPN and simulcast on ABC.