Quenton Nelson – Guard
School: Notre Dame
Weight: 330 Pounds
Quenton Nelson NFL Draft Profile
Quenton Nelson hails from Holmdel, New Jersey where he played for coach Jim Portela. Nelson spent his freshman year as a spectator but from 2015-2017, he was a staple on the offensive line for the Fighting Irish. He saw action at guard for the majority of his career although he did get snaps at left tackle during his 2016 junior campaign. Nelson is a versatile player who is the best offensive lineman prospect in 2018.
One of the first thing scouts, coaches, and general managers look at when evaluating offensive linemen is their strength. Nelson fires off of the line of scrimmage with such force that he rarely loses at the point of contact. Once he engages a defender it is pretty much over from there. I am really looking forward to seeing how many bench press reps he puts up at the combine.
The man is simply a technician. In pass protection, Nelson sustains a wide base and is consistently balanced. He has the same balance as a run blocker and I am pretty confident you could have a three-course meal on his back as he comes out of his stance flat backed. He also keeps his feet mobile which is a key ingredient in a successful lineman.
Nelson always seems to know what is going on around him. Whether that be blitz pickups, recognizing stunts or twists, or knowing when he can engage in a double team when his area is clean. He is beyond his years when it comes to having a feel for the game.
The Golden Domer, as good as he is, is not a freak athlete. Nelson can be pretty rigid in his movements which limits his versatility along the offensive line. I mentioned earlier that he spent significant time at the tackle spot at Notre Dame but with his lack of top-tier athleticism, offensive guard is pretty much the only spot you can pencil him in at.
This is sort of grasping at straws trying to find something to not like about Nelson because there just isn’t much there. He has suffered a couple injuries while in South Bend but it isn’t anything to really write him off for. The man is the safest pick in the draft, I would argue he is even safer than Saquon Barkley.
Nelson will immediately improve any offensive line he joins. He is a top-10 talent and is essentially guaranteed to hear his name during the first round. Even though he is not the most versatile offensive lineman in the draft, he is the best one on any board.
NFL Player Comparison
Teams With Need At Guard
Tampa Bay Buccaneers, San Francisco 49ers, Miami Dolphins, Cincinnati Bengals, Seattle Seahawks, Atlanta Falcons
Tampa Bay Buccaneers