Notre Dame Fighting Irish star Quenton Nelson is widely regarded as the best offensive lineman in the 2018 NFL Draft. He certainly looks the part.
Teams generally have two options when attempting to rebuild their franchise. Between free agency and the NFL Draft, general managers can either target the skill positions or attempt to win the battle at the line of scrimmage.
If a team is hoping to take the latter approach to sustained success, then Notre Dame Fighting Irish guard Quenton Nelson should be a top five pick.
Nelson is the best offensive lineman in the 2018 NFL Draft by virtual consensus. Guards aren’t typically drafted in the top five, but he’s garnering that type of hype due his uncanny ability to shut pass rushers and run defenders down with relative ease.
With no hyperbole whatsoever, Nelson is one of the most agreed upon prospects in the history of the NFL Draft.
It’s rare that this transpires, but Nelson appears to be the rare example of a prospect whom everyone believes will succeed.
Nelson entered the Scouting Combine with a reputation as the prototypical offensive lineman. He’s built well for his position and has the work ethic to support the belief that he can excel in every phase of the game.
At the 2018 NFL Draft Scouting Combine, it was confirmed that Nelson is as physically imposing as the film implied.
Long arms, big hands, and a powerful build will intrigue even the most jaded of coaches and scouts—and that’s only a fraction of his appeal.
Everyone around the Notre Dame football program offers rave reviews for Nelson as both an individual player and leader. He’s a positive influence in the locker room and a tested lineman who can play multiple positions.
When the last remaining test was a confirmation of his strength, Nelson silenced any remaining critics with a dominant display in the bench press.
What’s left to say?
Nelson is as reliable a prospect as anyone in the 2018 NFL Draft. He may not have the flash of Saquon Barkley, but it’s become abundantly clear that he and the Penn State Nittany Lions running back are the players to know.
With all due respect to the quarterbacks, the team that drafts Nelson may end up getting the best and most reliable prospect in this draft class.
All that’s holding Nelson back is his position. The question is: Are teams willing to give up on a generational talent just because they aren’t sure if drafting a guard that high would be worth it?
In one man’s opinion, finding greatness should always be the top priority. Quenton Nelson has a chance to achieve that, no matter where he lands in the 2018 NFL Draft.