A look at the most dominate offensive lineman in this year’s class, guard Quenton Nelson, and his potential fit with the Green Bay Packers.
Most guards don’t usually have a chance of even sniffing the top half of the first round, but Quenton Nelson could go as high as the top five.
Nelson is considered by most draft gurus to be one of the best, if not the best player in this year’s class.
That says a lot as he plays at one of the least valuable positions on the field and is in a draft class that features a generational running back talent (Saquon Barkley), an elite pass-rushing talent (Bradley Chubb), and several top quarterback prospects.
Notre Dame is one of the best schools in the country at developing offensive line talent for the NFL and I expect Nelson to continue that tradition.
Nelson is an elite run blocker, the best run blocking college guard I have ever seen. Very athletic for a player of his size. Great footwork.
Nelson and Mike McGlinchey shut down Harold Landry last year. He showed he can handle top pass rushers. Routinely helps out his fellow offensive linemen if no one is there for him to block.
He frequently pancakes and nearly abuses opposing defensive linemen, and will immediately be a top guard in the NFL. Nelson is probably the safest pick in the 2018 class.
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His blocking last year allowed his quarterback to effectively scramble a lot.
Performed very well on the bench press with 35 reps, per NFL.com.
Top offensive tackle Mike McGlinchey played on the same side of the line as Nelson did. This may have shielded some of his weaknesses.
He’s not quite as good a pass blocker as he is a run blocker.
Fit with Green Bay
Nelson would immediately make life easier for Aaron Rodgers and the Packers’ backfield.
If he were to slide to the 9-10 range for some reason, he is the type of player Green Bay should consider moving up for. Aaron Rodgers isn’t getting any younger and the Packers need to ensure that he is well protected if he wants to play into his 40s.
Could he end up in Green Bay?
As a guard, there is always a chance he could fall to No. 14, but his talent will still likely land him somewhere in the top-10. I doubt the Packers would be willing to trade up for a guard, but I think they would be smart to consider moving up for Nelson if he slipped.
When will he be picked?
Future Pro Bowler