Editor's note: Two additional players, former Utah State safety Marwin Evans and former Highland High safety Fish Smithson, were added to NFL playoff rosters this week following the initial publishing of this story.
There will be plenty of local angles to watch in the NFL playoffs, as there are 28 players with Utah ties on this year's postseason rosters.
That is seven more players than the 21 with Utah ties who were on NFL postseason rosters last season. It's also the most over the past five seasons, eclipsing the 25 local ties in the 2016 NFL postseason.
Sixteen are on active rosters, with seven more on practice squads and five on injured reserve. BYU leads all local schools with eight representatives, followed by Utah with seven. Utah State also has six former players in the playoffs, along with one each for Weber State and Snow College.
Seven Utah high schools are also represented in this year's playoffs, including two from Highland High and one player each from American Fork High, Bingham, Hunter, Layton, Timpview and Weber.
Here’s a look at each of the local ties on NFL playoff rosters, by team, beginning with the AFC.
AFC No. 1 seed: Kansas City Chiefs
- Marcus Kemp, WR, Layton High: Kemp has played in every game this season, primarily as a special-teamer, and added a 7-yard reception in a Week 3 win over San Francisco in his second pro season. He has six special-teams tackles on the year.
- Daniel Sorensen, S, BYU: Sorensen missed the first nine weeks of the season with a tibial plateau fracture in his left knee. In seven games and three starts since his return, he has 26 tackles and two pass deflections, as well as a pick-six in the Chiefs’ Week 17 win.
- Tejan Koroma, C, BYU: Koroma went on injured reserve with an apparent leg injury early in training camp, ending his rookie season after signing with the Chiefs this offseason as an undrafted free agent.
- Jordan Devey, OL, Snow College and American Fork High: Devey played in seven games and had two starts at guard and center before a torn pectoral landed him on injured reserve on Oct. 23. He’s in his third season with the Chiefs.
AFC No. 2 seed: New England Patriots
- Kyle Van Noy, LB, BYU: Van Noy is back in the playoffs for the third straight year with the Patriots, as he leads the team in tackles with 92 and also has 3.5 sacks, a forced fumble, an interception and his first two career touchdowns (on a fumble recovery and a blocked punt).
- Eric Rowe, CB, Utah: Rowe, in his third season with the Patriots, played in four games and started twice, logging 10 tackles and one pass deflection before landing on injured reserve with a groin injury on Oct. 31.
AFC No. 3 seed: Houston Texans
- No locals on roster
AFC No. 4 seed: Baltimore Ravens
- Eric Weddle, FS, Utah: Weddle was a Pro Bowler for the third straight year and sixth time overall in 2018, as the 12-year veteran had 68 tackles, a sack and three pass deflections while starting every game for Baltimore. He’s making his first appearance in the playoffs since 2013 with the Chargers.
- Robertson Daniel, CB, BYU: Daniel has spent the better part of the past three seasons with the Ravens, primarily on the team’s practice squad this year. He played on special teams in Baltimore’s Week 3 win over Denver.
AFC No. 5 seed: Los Angeles Chargers
- Michael Davis, CB, BYU: Davis has started the past nine games for the Chargers in his second pro season and has 50 tackles, eight pass deflections and a forced fumble as a regular in the Los Angeles secondary.
- Sam Tevi, OT, Utah: Tevi started 15 regular-season games this season, taking over at right tackle in Week 2. This will be his first postseason experience in his second year in the league.
- Tre’Von Johnson, LB, Weber State and Hunter High: Johnson spent a month on the Chargers’ active roster from Weeks 11 to 14, playing in four games and logging three tackles in a win over Arizona, before re-signing to the team’s practice squad in mid-December.
- Fish Smithson, S, Highland High: Smithson has been out of the NFL for much of the 2018 season, joining the Arizona Cardinals practice squad for six days late in the year. On Jan. 3, though, the Chargers added the second-year pro to their practice squad.
AFC No. 6 seed: Indianapolis Colts
- De’Ondre Wesley, OT, BYU: A fourth-year pro, Wesley is on his second stint on the Colts’ practice squad this season, re-signing in early December. He started the year on Buffalo’s practice squad.
NFC No. 1 seed: New Orleans Saints
- Taysom Hill, QB, BYU: Hill emerged as a do-everything type player for the Saints in his second NFL season, lining up at a variety of positions on offense while also contributing heavily on special teams. He ran for two touchdowns and also had a key blocked punt to help New Orleans rally past Tampa Bay in Week 14.
- Marcus Williams, FS, Utah: Williams has been an everyday starter in his second pro season with the Saints, finishing the regular season with 60 tackles, two interceptions and a forced fumble to go with three pass deflections and a sack.
- Tomasi Laulile, DE, BYU: Laulile originally signed with Indianapolis as an undrafted rookie in May before being released, then joined the Saints’ practice squad in late September.
NFC No. 2 seed: Los Angeles Rams
- JoJo Natson, WR/Ret., Utah State: Natson has been the Rams’ primary punt returner in his first season with the team, averaging 10.7 yards per return with a long of 60 yards.
- Dominique Hatfield, CB, Utah: Hatfield’s second NFL season was cut short when he went on injured reserve with an ankle injury in Week 14. He had one tackle in 10 games played, mainly as a special teams contributor, prior to the injury.
- J.J. Dielman, OL, Utah: Dielman, in his second pro season, is on his third NFL team in 2018 after signing to the Rams’ practice squad on Nov. 7.
NFC No. 3 seed: Chicago Bears
- Kylie Fitts, OLB, Utah: Fitts, a sixth-round selection by the Bears in the 2018 NFL draft, played in six games for Chicago this year and did not record any statistics.
- Patrick Scales, LS, Utah State and Weber High: Scales has served as the Bears’ starting long snapper all year in his fourth season with the team, one year after he missed the 2017 season with a torn ACL.
NFC No. 4 seed: Dallas Cowboys
- Dalton Schultz, TE, Bingham High: Schultz, a fourth-round draft pick, has started seven games as a rookie for the Cowboys and has 12 receptions for 116 yards while emerging as the team’s top tight end in the back half of the year.
- Xavier Su’a-Filo, OG, Timpview High: Su’a-Filo has started the past eight games for the Cowboys at right guard — Dallas is 7-1 in the eight games he's started — though he left Sunday’s game with an ankle injury.
NFC No. 5 seed: Seattle Seahawks3 comments on this story
- Maurice Alexander, SS, Utah State: Alexander has served primarily as a special-teamer for the Seahawks in his first year with the team, and the fifth-year pro has 10 tackles on the year.
- Bobby Wagner, MLB, Utah State: Wagner earned his fifth straight Pro Bowl selections in one of his top pro seasons, leading the Seahawks with 138 tackles, 11 pass deflections, two forced fumbles, a sack and a 98-yard interception return for a touchdown. This will be Wagner’s sixth playoff appearance in seven pro seasons.
- Marwin Evans, S, Utah State: Evans was added to the Seahawks' practice squad Jan. 1 after spending nearly the entire year off an NFL roster. He played the 2016 and 2017 seasons with Green Bay and originally tried out for Seattle after going undrafted in 2016.
- Ricky Ali’ifua, DE, Utah State: Ali’ifua went on injured reserve with a concussion the week before the regular season began, one month after joining the Seahawks.
NFC No. 6 seed: Philadelphia Eagles
- Haloti Ngata, DT, Highland High: Ngata has been a consistent contributor for the defending Super Bowl champions in his first season with the Eagles, starting nine games with 17 tackles and a sack. The 13-year veteran last played in the postseason with the Lions in 2016 and earned a Super Bowl ring with Baltimore.