Name: Quenton Nelson
School: Notre Dame
Size: 6’5”, 330 lb
Home State: New Jersey
Possibly the best offensive lineman in the country (certainly the best interior offensive lineman), Quenton Nelson’s greatest strength comes in the run game. In telephone booth-style situations, where it is Nelson and a defensive lineman one-on-one between the tackles, the Fighting Irish blocker is nearly impossible to beat. He pivots quickly to seal off defenders in the inside run game, creating clear lanes for the running back. It is no surprise that, running behind Nelson, Josh Adams has been tremendous for Notre Dame. As a pass blocker, Nelson actively looks to help his fellow linemates, keeping the pocket clean for his quarterback.
While Nelson is an elite run blocker, he is not the best pass blocker. Creative pass rushers sometimes have an edge on Nelson, who is susceptible to double moves. On bull rush moves, Nelson sometimes has a tendency to catch pass rushers with his body, which will not bode well for him in the NFL where defensive linemen are far stronger. Finally, Nelson could stand to be a better blocker in space, especially when pulling for runs to the outside.
It would not surprise many if Quenton Nelson ends up the first offensive lineman off the board in the 2018 draft. He has teamed with tackle Mike McGlinchey to give Notre Dame one of its best offensive lines in years, and projects out as one of the NFL’s top run blockers in a few years time. Nelson belongs in an offense that relies on power runs and short passes.
Early First Round