Quenton Nelson has been one of the college prospects most often mocked to the Bears with the No. 8 pick in the NFL Draft despite the fact that he plays an interior line spot. As we inch toward the draft, it’s becoming more likely that Nelson will be the exception to the rule, at least in his opinion:
“I think I should be talked in that regard, the top-five conversation, because you have guys who are dominating the NFL right now in Aaron Donald, Geno Atkins, Fletcher Cox that have just been working on interior guys,” Nelson said at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, via Pro Football Talk’s Charean Williams. “You need guys to stop them, and I think I’m one of those guys.”
Whether or not a team that picks Nelson in the top-10 is reaching for an interior lineman could ultimately be a moot point. Nelson said that while he is more comfortable at guard, he believes he can play any position along the offensive line. With his measurables being what they are, it wouldn’t be a surprise if Nelson excelled at right or left tackle.
Nelson measured in at an impressive 6-foot-5 and 325 pounds with an 82 5/8-inch wingspan, 10 3/8-inch hands, and did 35 reps in the 225-pound bench press on Thursday. That combination of size and strength coupled with the impressive tape he compiled while at Notre Dame, Nelson might land among the top-five picks after all. If not, there will be no shortage of suitors – and that might include Green Bay Packers.
ESPN’s Jordan Raanan tweets that Nelson has met with the Packers (as well as the New York Giants) so far at the Combine. If the Packers aren’t throwing their name in the ring as a scare tactic to get the Bears even more interested than they already are, they’ll have to trade up to move ahead of Chicago to take the talented offensive lineman.
As for what Nelson wants, it sounds like he would like to continue to learn under Harry Hiestand:
Quenton Nelson said of Bears offensive line coach Harry Hiestand: “He’s developed me into the player I am today. It would be awesome to continue that development.”
— Chris Emma (@CEmma670) March 1, 2018
Hiestand coached the Fighting Irish’s offensive line and helped develop a slew of high-end college talent that is making an impact in the NFL. Soon, Nelson and teammate Mike McGlinchey – both sure-fire first-round picks – will join the likes of Ronnie Stanley and Zack Martin among Notre Dame products to take their talents to the NFL and thrive.