Here’s the 2018 NFL Draft profile of offensive guard Quenton Nelson out of Notre Dame breaking down his strengths, weaknesses, video highlights, and if he would be a fit for the New York Jets.
A former second-team USA Today high school All-American out of New Jersey, Quenton Nelson, who played his collegiate ball at Notre Dame is regarded as one of the top prospects entering the 2018 NFL Draft.
After not suiting up and redshirting his freshman year, Nelson started 11 out of 12 games for the Irish in 2015. He then started all 12 games as a junior in 2016, earning Sports Illustrated second-team All American honors in addition to earning second-team AP All-American honors. He then played 13 games in 2017, while serving as his team’s captain and having arguably his best year to date.
Standing 6-5 and weighing in at 325 lbs., Nelson is without question the top offensive lineman in this year’s draft. Let’s take a look at his strengths, weaknesses, video highlights and if he might be a good fit with the New York Jets.
What initially stands out about Nelson is obviously his size in addition to his experience as a three-year starter. He has a large frame that includes wide hips, a broad chest, long arms and big hands, which allow him to play physical football and deliver quite a pop off of the offensive line.
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Extremely aggressive off of the snap, Nelson has established himself as not only a strong pass blocker, but an elite level run blocker as well.
In terms of pass blocking, Nelson’s strength allows him to shut down bull rushes and potential pass rushers with relative ease. It’s rare to see him allow pressure on his quarterback and even rarer to see him allow a sack.
In terms of run blocking, the 22-year-old has an incredible knack for opening up gaps. He’s also quite athletic and moves his feet well, which allows him to sustain blocks and maintain control of opponents. Many feel as if Nelson’s future team will have tremendous success running behind him, especially in short-yardage situations.
And if he does get beat, Nelson’s physical traits along with his field awareness give him the ability to make necessary recoveries.
While there’s no question regarding Nelson’s elite level talent, he does have some areas to improve on as any player does, although not many.
For example, some feel as if he can still improve on his pass blocking. Some have also argued that he drops his head a bit too often, while also, at times, sustaining blocks a moment too long before shifting his focus to opposing linebackers.
And finally, there have been some concerns regarding minor injuries suffered by Nelson over the years, although nothing too impactful it appears.
As one of the best prospects in this year’s draft and undoubtedly the best lineman, Nelson, who has also portrayed himself as a team and locker room leader, would be a perfect fit for the Jets, who have been looking to improve their offensive line.
However, there’s essentially no chance he will end up in the green and white. The Jets have one pick in the first round, the third selection, and it will be used on a quarterback.
Nelson will certainly go in the first round and likely in the top 10, which confirms he won’t be an option for the Jets. Regardless, it’s expected that he will become a legitimate starter in the NFL and it’s possible that he’ll contribute to whatever team drafts him immediately.