Quenton Nelson 2018 NFL Draft Profile

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Quenton Nelson
SOUTH BEND, IN - OCTOBER 21: Quenton Nelson #56 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish blocks during a game against the USC Trojans at Notre Dame Stadium on October 21, 2017 in South Bend, Indiana. Notre Dame won 49-14. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

Overview
Position: Offensive guard
Height: 6’5”
Weight: 329 pounds
School: Notre Dame Fighting Irish

Combine Performance Data
Bench press: 35 reps (tied for second among offensive linemen)
Vertical jump: 26.5 inches
Broad jump: 9 feet, 9 inches
Three-cone drill: 7.65 seconds
20-yard shuttle: 4.62 seconds

Quenton Nelson 2018 NFL Draft Profile

Since high school, the path for Quenton Nelson has been almost predetermined. As a high school senior he obtained second-team USA Today All-American honors, earning him a five star as a recruit, and ranked as the third best tackle in the nation. After sitting out his freshman year via redshirt, he stepped onto the scene his second year and hasn’t looked back. As a redshirt junior, he decided to forgo his final year of eligibility, as there isn’t much room for him to climb higher on draft boards, and the only way for him to get better is to face opponents on Sundays instead of Saturdays. Nelson is used to playing next to NFL talent, as he had lined up next to former first rounder Ronnie Stanley, as well as projected first rounder Mike McGlinchey.

Nelson finished 2017 as a finalist for the Outland Trophy, earning All-American honors as well. Another factor to note with Nelson is his consistency in protecting his quarterback, where over the course of over 1,500 snaps he only allowed three sacks and three quarterback hits.

Strengths

  • Extremely powerful, and rarely beaten in that aspect;
  • Tremendous size, through hips, arms, chest;
  • Incredible run blocker, easily creating initial lane and searching out defenders on second level;
  • Able to de-cleat defenders to open running lanes;
  • Very good at getting his hands where he wants them, regardless of defenders intentions;
  • Not only quick with hands but powerful as well, holding blockers in place throughout play;
  • Very good balance, not beaten often.

Weaknesses

  • Can be beaten by a speed rush, as he will drop his head anticipating contact;
  • Will sometimes stutter on pulls, lagging slightly;
  • Will overblock occasionally, sticking with initial block instead of moving on;
  • Slight concern he may be too big to deal with speed rushers in the middle of the line.

NFL Comparison: Marshal Yanda

Teams with need at position: New York Giants, Indianapolis Colts, Denver Broncos, New York JetsTampa Bay Buccaneers, Chicago Bears, San Francisco 49ers, Miami Dolphins, Cincinnati Bengals, Washington Redskins, Arizona Cardinals.

Draft Projection: Early first round, fifth-10th pick

Bottom Line

Talent like Nelson rarely comes along. He has such an impressive combination of speed and size, that a move to tackle wouldn’t be too much of a surprise if a tackle-needy team gets to him in the draft, and would better justify a top 10 pick. When it comes to interior lineman, you don’t see one taken early very often, as going back through to 2001, there have been three taken in the top 10, 2001 Leonard Davis with the second pick, 2013 Jonathan Cooper with the seventh pick, and 2013 Chance Warmack with the 10th pick. With the incredible size and talent that Nelson has, he should be joining this list as one of the few taken in the top 10, and making his mark on the game for the next 10-12 years as one of the best in the league.

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