Name: Quenton Nelson
School: Notre Dame
Class: Redshirt Junior
Games Watched: 2016 – Virginia Tech. 2017 – Boston, North Carolina, Stanford.
As a high school senior, Nelson earned second-team USA Today All-American honors helping his team to 279 rushing yards. In his freshman season he spent most of the time on the scout team and so he redshirted. In his sophomore season he started 11 of 12 games for Notre Dame at left guard and the offensive line became a finalist for the Joe Moore Award. The offensive line averaged 5.63 yards per carry which was the 8th highest in the FBS. In 2017 he was part of the offensive line that averaged 6.37 yards per carry which was the third best in the FBS and averaged 250.3 rushing yards per game. His dominance earned himself the Walter Camp first team All-American awards.
Big square frame with thick arms and legs. Comes off the line of scrimmage low enough to add length without overextending. Initial strong punch with some pop. Automatic win once he gets his hands on the defender. Uses very strong arms to keep defenders away from body, can hold off his man with one arm. Drives his man downfield with his legs. Bends knees and creates a good anchor. Powerful drive and down blocker. Quick feet and athleticism to move in space, allowing him success as a pulling guard. Light feet and good speed allows him to move from initial blocks and into the second level, securing blocks on linebackers and safeties. Gets into his pass set quickly, prepares any rusher. Resets his hands if initial punch isn’t clean or swatted away. Great bod control, rarely loses balance. Will always look to help others blocking. Plays with a high motor.
Just needs to be a bit more consistent coming off the line of scrimmage. Bursting too quickly into the second level has led to some missed blocks, will need to be patient on occasion to allow blocking opportunity to develop. Some tendency to drop his head whilst making contact and will need to keep his head looking up.
Nelson plays so tough and with good technique. He’s big and powerful guy with the athleticism too which makes him a possible future All-Pro player in the NFL. Nelson is the top player on my big board and has deservedly earned this recognition.
1st round (top 10 projection)
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