Quenton Nelson, G, Notre Dame
Draft Prospect Outlook:
Outstandingly strong, wide-based guard with amazing awareness and nastiness through the whistle. Sits down and strikes first in pass protection. Works well to second level and routinely destroys linebackers. Immense power once he gets a hold of defensive linemen as a run-blocker. Only occasional hiccup comes against well-executed counter move.
Nelson enrolled at Notre Dame out of Red Bank Catholic and took a red-shirt during his freshman season despite making the two-deep during training camp. He started immediately as a sophomore and gutted out a severe ankle sprain during his junior year. Basically, toughness and durability are as built into Nelson's game as his physical strength. His final game against LSU was a showcase of pancakes and choke slams as he beat up that SEC front seven. A true offensive guard hasn't gone Top 5 in nearly 20 years. Nelson might break that streak.
To understand how good Quenton Nelson was last year, skip over losing the Outland Trophy to Ed Oliver of Houston and remember that the guard was named team MVP, the first offensive lineman to win that honor since 1975. The former 247Sports Composite four-star prospect was an absolute mauler all season, his third in the starting lineup. He was even good on incomplete passes, as his blitz pickup against Georgia rated among Notre Dame's top plays of the season. In the end, Nelson was the highest rated offensive lineman in the country according to Pro Football Focus. - Pete Sampson, IrishIllustrated.com