Analysis

Vikings Prospect Player Card: Quenton Nelson | OG | Notre Dame

A look at 2018 NFL Draft prospects who could be on Minnesota's radar.

As the NFL Draft approaches, Vikings Territory is taking a look at prospects that may interest the Minnesota Vikings. Since it’s evident the team would like to add a long-term offensive line starter at some point in the early rounds, let’s examine the players who could fit that mold.

  • School: Notre Dame
  • Position: G
  • Projected round: Top 10
  • Age: 22
  • Height: 6-5
  • Weight: 330 lbs.
  • Arm: 33 3/4″
  • Hand: 10 3/8″
  • Bench press: 35 reps of 225 pounds
  • 40-yard dash: DNP
  • Vertical jump: 26.5 inches
  • Broad jump: 8 feet, 9 inches
  • 3-cone drill: 7.65 seconds
  • 20-yard shuttle: 4.62 seconds

Vikings Interest: 10/10

  • Nelson has been referred to as an “elite“, and “generational” guard prospect.
  • Some analysts consider him the best player in this year’s draft.
  • He can step in and start from day one.
  • Didn’t allow a sack or quarterback hit the entire 2017 season.
  • Team captain for the Irish.
  • Nelson is the “cleanest offensive line prospect” Pro Football Focus has graded in four years.

  • PFF had Nelson dropping to the Seattle Seahawks at No. 18 in the first round of their second Mock Draft. Here’s their reasoning: Low positional value of guards is a big factor. Regardless… Nelson is dominant in the run game, leading all guards with a 96.4 grade in 2017 and ranking fifth at 89.5 in 2016. He’s improved every year in pass protection, allowing only five pressures last season.
  • Much like the offensive scheme that coordinator John DeFilipppo brought to Minnesota, Notre Dame utilizes a run-first, up-tempo and aggressive offense philosophy. The system incorporates RPO’s and features a multi-faceted rushing attack with both zone and man-blocking schemes up front. Experience in Brian Kelly and Chip Long’s offensive scheme could help ease Nelson’s transition to the next level.
  • Was quoted at the NFL combine saying “As a blocker, my mindset is being dominant. I want to dominate all my opponents and take their will away to play the game.”
  • Gifted physically. Nelson is built like an ox with a strong base and upper body.
  • The chances of the highest-rated offensive lineman in the country falling to the latter part of the first round are slim.
  • Would likely need to move from left guard to the right side.
  • Nelson’s NFL.com draft profile suggests pass protection and injury history are minor concerns.

Bottom Line:

Nelson is likely a day-one starter with Pro Bowl potential.

Potential OL starters:

LT Riley Reiff – LG Nick Easton – C Pat Elflein – RG Quenton Nelson – RT Mike Remmers

More Prospects:

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Sean Borman

Sean Borman is a writer with Minnesota roots that's still somehow an optimist. He was an intern with the Vikings during college and previously wrote for Rant Sports. You can find Sean on the golf course and on Twitter @SeanBoarMan.

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