The Jacksonville Jaguars defensive line is going to have to go up against offensive lineman Quenton Nelson twice a year for the foreseeable future. The Indianapolis Colts upgraded the interior of their offensive line with the No. 6 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.
Who is Nelson as a guard? Let’s read what Adam Stites had to say:
If there were significant holes in Nelson’s game, he wouldn’t be the first guard in more than three decades to get drafted so early.
But his level of dominance at the collegiate level really can’t be understated. He was No. 1 in the nation in Pro Football Focus’ run block success percentage and it showed when he consistently bulldozed players out of the picture with leverage and smooth technique.
Attitude is a good thing for offensive linemen and it’s safe to say nobody is going to intimidate Nelson. He spent much of his time at Notre Dame doing more than just blocking. He was on the hunt to dish out some pain.
Supply and demand affects value, and the supply on good offensive lineman is running low. As former NFL offensive lineman Geoff Schwartz explained in March, veteran linemen are cashing in big in free agency because spread offenses in college football are yielding fewer starting level players up front.
Once considered a dime a dozen, guards are receiving huge contracts in the NFL now because good players are to find. The Jacksonville Jaguars gave Andrew Norwell a five-year, $66.5 million deal earlier this offseason, and Kevin Zeitler received a five-year, $60 million deal from the Browns in 2017.
If Nelson lives up to his draft hype, he’s the type of player who is becoming more and more difficult to find. That’s why he was worth the No. 6 selection and why the Colts should have high hopes for the future of their offense.
Read more of Nelson’s evaluation and see some film here.