The Notre Dame football team better be ready against the pass in 2021, as they face two potential top-5 quarterbacks in the 2022 NFL Draft.
The Notre Dame football program is getting an elite defensive coordinator to join the program, after losing an elite defensive coordinator in Clark Lea to Vanderbilt. Lea left the Irish to become the head coach at his alma mater, and in his place, Brian Kelly was able to pluck Marcus Freeman from the hands of the LSU Tigers.
Freeman not only brings a wealth of knowledge of the game, and the ability to recruit at an elite level, but he is also a tremendous coach when it comes to the defensive backfield. His skill set is going to be needed in a big way in 2021, as the Irish face, two quarterbacks who could be top-5 picks in the 2022 NFL Draft.
By the time the Irish take on these two signal-callers, the defense will hopefully have gelled, but he is going to need every bit of All-American safety Kyle Hamilton in those matchups.
Irish face Sam Howell and Kedon Slovis in back-to-back weeks
Coming off their bye week, the Irish will play host to the hated USC Trojans and quarterback Kedon Slovis. Considered one of the top quarterback prospects heading into next year’s NFL Draft, Slovis can hurt a team in so many ways, and when he faced Notre Dame as a true freshman in 2019, he threw for 255 yards and two touchdowns against zero interceptions in a loss.
After trying to handle Slovis and the Trojans’ offense, the Irish will then shift their focus to the University of North Carolina, and their stud signal-caller Sam Howell. Howell is widely considered the top pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, and while the Irish were able to do keep the damage at a minimum this past season, a revamped defense could have trouble with such an elite quarterback in 2021.
This is a huge stretch for the Irish, who have a fairly easy schedule the rest of the way after this two-game stretch. Slovis and Howell are two quarterbacks who are going to be all over everyone’s watch list next season, and the defense can make a real statement by holding them in check over a two-week span as they look to make another push for the CFP.