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2018 Prospect Primer: G Quenton Nelson

Posted Feb 13, 2018

The offensive guard out of Notre Dame is considered the best offensive line prospect in this year’s draft, and it’s not close.

NFL.com’s Daniel Jeremiah cannot get enough of this guy out of Notre Dame. So much so, that in his list of the top 50 draft picks, he had this to say of Quenton Nelson:

“Nelson lined up at left guard for the Irish this past season and that is where he projects at the next level. He has a thick, hulking build -- and he's the nastiest offensive line prospect I've ever evaluated. In the run game, he is quick out of his stance and has the ability to completely wash opposing players down the line of scrimmage. He rolls his hips on contact, locks on with a powerful grip and doesn't let up until he's finished the job. Nelson is very effective when he works up to the second level on combo blocks and pulls. He can adjust in space and he blocks through the whistle consistently. In pass protection, Nelson possesses an immediate anchor vs. power rushers and effortlessly handles twists and stunts. Overall, Nelson has all of the tools to be the best run blocker in the NFL and he'll be reliable in pass protection. He's the easiest player to evaluate in this draft class.”

Such high praise, it just had to be included word-for-word in this primer. It’s deserving praise, though. If you look at the rest of the top 50 list, most offensive linemen don’t start showing back up until you get near the bottom.

What separates Nelson according to experts, and even NFL personnel, is his size and build. He has wide hips, a broad chest and a ton of power, regularly forcing defenders to the ground. His specialty is run-blocking because of his ability to open up giant running lanes by quickly displacing defenders out of their gaps.

He’s no slouch in pass protection, either. His hand and limb strength can hold defenders off and he has great body control to compensate for when (or if) he gets beaten, according to NFL.com.

He redshirted his freshman year in 2014, but by the time he became a senior, started all 12 games for the Irish in 2017 after playing all 12 games in 2016, as well. He even won Notre Dame’s Monogram Club Most Valuable Player award in 2017, the first offensive lineman to win the award since 1975. He was also an Outland Trophy finalist and Walter Camp First Team All-American last season.

Jeremiah has Quenton Nelson going fifth overall to the Denver Broncos in his Mock Draft 1.0.