Throughout the summer, National Scout Jon Ledyard, Assistant Director Joe Marino and Scouting Director Kyle Crabbs will be conducting summer assessments on 99 notable senior prospects. Of these 99 seniors, the 33 most prominent will be covered by all three analysts.
Of the remaining 66, each of the three analysts has “drafted” 22 of them to scout exclusively.
This serves as the foundation for our 2018 draft assessments.
Scout: Joe Marino
Name: Quenton Nelson
Position: Offensive Guard
Date of Birth: N/A
College: Notre Dame
High School: Red Bank Catholic (NJ)
Games Played: 24
Games Started: 23
Team Captain: Yes (2017)
Production: N/A (Offensive Lineman)
High School: Consensus four-star prospect. Second-team offensive lineman on USA Today All-USA prep All-America squad for 2013. Offers from 29 other schools, including Ohio State, Wisconsin, Stanford, Penn State, Alabama, Michigan State and Oklahoma.
College: Starter on an offensive line that was a finalist for the Joe Moore award in 2015. 2016 second team All-American by Sports Illustrated. 2017 preseason first team All-American by Sports Illustrated. 2016 third team All-American by the Associated Press.
Strengths: Tremendous power components to his game. Defines what it means to be a mauler in the run game. Creates gaping holes with his strength to uproot defensive lineman and drive them out of gaps. Creates considerable movement and is a tenacious blocker. Uses his punch, hip roll and legs to maximize his power. Terrific grip strength to steer and sustain blocks. Executes double teams and releases to the second level with great timing. Stout anchor that easily absorbs power stacked on top of him. Outstanding ability to leverage his hips and re-anchor. Consistently sets proper pocket depth. Powerful punch to stymie rushers. Does well to square up against interior rushers. Knows how to position his body and work angles.
Weaknesses: Doesn’t have overly swift footwork and is challenged when sliding hit feet to challenge stunts and blitzers. Weight will occasionally get too far forward. Guilty of being overly frenetic.
Summary: Notre Dame offensive guard Quenton Nelson is a joy to watch operate in the ground game as he overwhelms opponents. Generating power by maximizing his frame, Nelson blows opponents off the ball and frequently puts them on their back. He has the physical, tenacious mentality that NFL team’s are looking for as he blocks through the whistle and is never content with a stalemate.
Nelson’s power components show up when pass blocking where his powerful anchor and punch easily handles interior rushers. His length also serves him well as a pass blocker.
As it stands, Nelson looks like a plug-and-play guard in the NFL but cleaning up some of the finer details will make him even more appealing. Because he won’t be able to simply overwhelm NFL defensive lineman with sheer strength, Nelson needs to become more consistent with his weight distribution and not get overly frenetic.
Nelson looks like the type of blocker that will anchor an NFL offensive line for a decade.
Predicted Value Range: First Round