This should come to no surprise to Notre Dame fans, but Quenton Nelson is really, really good at football. While not shocking to anyone who has watched Notre Dame football the last three years, what is surprising is the draft hype that is developing for Nelson given his position. Mike Mayock, who is also no stranger to Notre Dame fans, added to the hype in this week’s MMQB from Sports Illustrated by going so far as to say Nelson is one of the best two players in the draft and should be taken in the top 5.
Here’s what the former color commentator for Notre Dame games on NBC had to say.
“I think the two best players I have seen on tape are [Penn State running back] Saquon Barkley and [Notre Dame guard] Quenton Nelson.”
“I think when you look around the NFL today and see that there are more and more high-level interior pass rushers than there were five years ago, you know have to be strong across the offensive front. Every top-level quarterback I’ve ever talked to told me that what they hate the most is immediate pressure up the middle. If they can step up into a pocket, they’re all happy. And that’s what [Nelson] is. He is a son-of-a-bitch who is going to knock people down in the run game. I call him a people mover. He opens holes. For 330 pounds, his feet are pretty good. I think he can plug-and-play there for the next 10 or 12 years.”
Guards, even really good ones, typically don’t get draft very high. Tackles get all of the love when it comes to the first round. Only three guards have been picked in the top 10 in the last 18 years. By contrast, three offensive linemen were selected within the first three picks of the 2013 NFL Draft alone. Nelson is a different beast though. And I say beast, because that is exactly what this young man is.
I would look at who this kid is, not just on tape, but who the kid is. He loves football, lives football, and because of his work ethic, toughness and natural ability, unless he has an injury, I think this kid is going to be special.”
Selfishly, I am hoping that Nelson gets drafted by anyone in the top 10 other than the New York Giants. As a die hard Philadelphia Eagles fan, it is already painful enough having to face Jaylon Smith and Zack Martin twice a year. Nelson, without question, deserves to be a top 5 pick as Mayock suggests though. The fact that he didn’t win the Outland Trophy still boggles my mind. I am sure a top 5 selection will be a nice consolation prize for one of the best offensive linemen to ever play for the Irish though.
I don’t know why ND fans have so much interest in the NFL draft.
If they get drafted as high picks, it really rubs it in to any rational person that their superior talent went so unrewarded, even wasted at Kelly’s ND.
And if they get drafted late…or not at all….it reminds fans of what a poor state ND football is in, neither recruiting well anymore nor coaching kids up.
You are darn tooting the draft order is important ??? We just want to see the fellas that we root for who dig down and work their tails off get rewarded for all that hard work!!! You betcha that is important!!!! Mr Nelson deserves a reward for all that hard work at not only his field work but for all the hard work he does in the classroom ??? As other schools have shown, this is not always the case where athletics become more important than academics (hello!!!! FBI Scandal). I am quite confident that Mr Nelson will land high in the draft and become the next Zach Martin!!!! Whether he flies like a Jet or roars like a bear or gallantly swashbuckles like a buccaneer (Ahoy Sailor!!!), I see a lucky team (hopefully the Jets) getting their man ???. Go IRISH!!!!!!!!!!!!
Not much of a rebuttal, but at least you said something beyond thumbs down.
ND kids generally have two important boxes ticked:
a moral compass, and some decent personal character.
Head case draft busts in the NFL are expensive.
So if they aren’t too delayed in their skill development relative to the “big time” program kids, they can be worth the gamble.
They might even be seen to have higher ceilings.
Personally, I don’t care….NFL is a sad gong show.
Guaranteed! If he’s around by the eighth pick, he’s a Bear. Harry Hiestand will make sure he’s drafted by the Bears if he’s still available.
I definitely agree that it can be hard when ND grads play in the same division as your favorite team. I’m a big Packers fan, and I have to watch Golden Tate, Theo Riddick and TJ Jones tear up the Green Bay Defense, then we play the Vikings who have Harrison Smith and Kyle Rudolph.
It’s hard to be a Notre Dame fan and a fan of an NFC North team. though I’m sure I’m not going to get much sympathy when we have Aaron Rodgers..
Yeah, for me the hardest is seeing Martin in a Dallas uniform (or any ND in a Dallas uniform). On almost any other team, I can be ok, I’ll root for former ND players for any other team except when they play the G-men. But I can never root for Dallas to win.
In the reverse when a player joins the G-men, no matter where they come from, all is forgiven. I remember when Mario Manningham became a Giant, even though he played for Michigan, one of my 2 hated college teams, all was forgiven as long as he playedwith the Giants. He did have some phenomenal catches for the Giants too. I still remember one where he was avoiding tacklers right and left. It was actually funny to see. Then of course he had a critical game winning catch in the 2011 Superbowl.
Exactly right on both fronts. I can’t root for a divisional rival. I found myself cheering for the Eagles emphatically in the NFC Championship even though it would have been great for Rudolph and Harrison Smith, but I don’t want to seet the hated Vikings win.
Your second point, I understand entirely. Green Bay has Clay Matthews (FUSC), Jake Ryan (scUM), and Corey Linsley (pOSU). But, as you stated, all is forgiven when they wear the green and yellow.
Sometimes I’ll make a compromise in certain cases. I’ll root for Dallas to lose every game, as usual, but I’ll root for Martin to do well individually and maybe hope someday he’ll go somewhere else.
But his case kills me the most because the Giants had a shot at Martin and didn’t take him (I forget all the details, but I do remember they did have a chance to take Martin)
Well said Frankie V!!!!! Well said INDEED!!!! This guy is going to be super duper special in the NFL!!! Positive Pete Prediction Alert: NY Jets get him on the 6th pick ??? Yes my friend, I see him slipping slightly out of the top five.
Since we went astray, but, yeah Nelson is a can’t miss. My very early Super Bowl, Falcons/ Jaguars. Coughlin vs. Ryan, what a matchup. Hope some Domers show up for this one.
Sorry Frank. I am a NY Giants fan and I’d love for the Giants to pick up Nelson. We are in need of a guy like him on the O-line. Barkley would be a great pick up for the G-men as well as he is a versatile RB that can play receiver too, and we could use a great RB. Either would be a great pick up for the Giants, but I’m always happy to see a ND player join the fold.
Congrats on the SB win by the way. As difficult as it was, I was rooting for the Eagles to win the SB because I did not want to see the Pats win another SB. And I know back in 2008 a lot of my Eagle fan friends were rooting for the Giants to win that SB because no one outside of NE wanted to see the Pats go undefeated that year (I guess they were more rooting for the Pats to lose then the G-men to win, but still).
I do agree with you about Martin. The Giants had a chance to pick him up and didn’t, which I think was a huge miss for them. And I hate Dallas too, so it stinks having to face him at Dallas twice a year and having to root against him–any other team, but Dallas, ugh.
Hah! I know you guys need OL help badly. Thus even more reason for an Eagles fan to hope Nelson is drafted almost anywhere else 🙂
And thanks! It was amazing to finally see my guys win it all. Living in the NYC area and being able to wear my Eagles SB gear proudly has been a nice change of pace too.