GUARD, NOTRE DAME
GRADE- 8.08 (1st)
HGT: 6'5 / WGT: 325 / HAND: 10 3/8 / ARM:
THE PLAYER- Nelson was a three year starter at Notre Dame. He was named All American several times. Named a team captain in 2017 and ND Offensive lineman of the year in 2016. Nelson has earned top honors since his playing days at Red Bank Catholic Scholl in New Jersey.
STRENGTHS- Physically imposing and strong. Anchors down in protection with excellent punch. Natural knee bender with an aggressive nature that helps him finish blocks. Moves well on pulls and in space. Big frame and strong arms allow him to minimize his gap in protection. Reads blitzes and recognizes stunts very well. Combos to the second level well and locates his defender quickly. Maintains his blocks with good technique and power.
WEAKNESSES- Can only be effective inside. Doesn't possess the foot speed to play tackle. Can get grabby when defenders break down his punch. Loses focus on his technique at times causing him to not make the reach or cutoff.
BIG PICTURE- Nelson is the top offensive lineman in this class. Nelson was ranked in the top 30 nationally coming out of high school. A team captain and second team All-American in 2017, he anchored the offensive line with Mike McGlinchey. Nelson gives you the ability to have him play either guard spot. He is smart enough to play the center position if he can learn to snap the football. He is an immediate starter for any team. There is very little adjustment for a player of his caliber. He has the size to matchup with bigger defensive tackles. He doesn't get overpowered very often. His biggest challenge will be the quickly under tackles that have size strength. He works well on double teams and combination blocks. He has the strength and movement to pass off and pickup stunts. He doesn't always make it outside on fan protections. He can be heavy footed at times in his pass sets. He uses his size well to occupy his gap and limit space for blitzes to get through. Nelson is a cornerstone player for a team's offensive line and a future All-Pro.