Scouting Report: Quenton Nelson, OG, Notre Dame

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Quenton Nelson | iOL | 6’5″ 325 10 3/8″ 33 3/4″| Notre Dame | 4JR | 3/19/96


Games Watched: NC State(2016), 7 Miami (2017), 21 Stanford, 17 LSU

History:

He is majoring in management consulting. Per 247sports, he was a 4 star recruit out of NJ, played in the Army All-America game, and was named 2nd team All-American by USA Today, Parade, and MaxPreps with offers to 31 schools such as Ohio State, Alabama, and Stanford.

  • 2014(True Freshman): He was one of 4 OL on the scout team as freshman. He did not play during 2014.
  • 2015 (RS Freshman): He played in 12 games with 11 starts. He missed most of the USC game and the Navy game with an ankle injury. The Notre Dame OL was a finalist for the Joe Moore award for best OL.
  • 2016 (RS Sophomore): He started all 12 games. He was named Notre Dame offensive lineman of the year and 2nd team All-American.
  • 2017 (RS Junior): He started all 13 games. He was a 1st team All-American.

Context: Notre Dame runs a power run pro-style offense. He is a 3-year starter and 1-year captain.


Pros:

Best: Leverage, Balance/Frame, Toughness

Athletically, he has very good balance, elite balance for his size, very good upper body strength, good lower body strength, good acceleration off of the snap, and solid acceleration in space. He has an ideal frame for a power run scheme. He was a captain last season, makes the line calls, has a good motor, and is consistent throughout the course of the game. He consistently finishes blocks and plays the “enforcer” role with snap to whistle effort. In run blocking, he has good pad level out of his stance, good hand placement and first punch with solid timing off of the snap. He gets very good leverage from both his arms and hips. On reach blocks, he has good hip movement to get around the defender to leverage them. Through contact with his assignment, he has good hand strength, maintains solid balance and consistently drives his assignment downfield. When pulling or moving downfield, he has elite ability to adjust if there is penetration behind the line if pulling from backside, good at getting out in front of the runner and good at latching on or walling off defenders in space. As a pass protector, he maintains good hand placement, good first punch, solid timing off of the snap, and doesn’t waste movement in his footwork off of the snap. He can handle stunts and switches. He has good hip fluidity to react to speed rushes or hesitations. He is very good at sinking his hips to gain leverage and anchor. Initial moves he can handle are rip, swim, spin, and bull rush. He is good at winning hand fights due to very good grip strength while displaying solid fight and violence. His hips are fluid enough to be good at reacting to getting beat. He has solid hand replacement if his hands are knocked off. Counter moves he can handle are swat to setup, rip, and push-pull. Mentally, he appears to understand counters and how he has to react to beat them.


Cons:

Worst: Play speed, Footspeed, Reach blocking footwork

Athletically, he has adequate agility and poor to adequate speed in space. His frame can get in his way and slow him down sometimes or cause him to rely on it too much. As a run blocker, he has an adequate first step and poor to adequate footspeed. He tends to have a wide foot base out of his stance and through his drive. As a reach blocker, he has adequate footwork, mostly hindered by speed. When pulling or moving downfield, there are times where he misses assignments or ends up with nothing and loses his motor quickly when he doesn’t see anything to hit. He doesn’t use his hands independently. As a pass protector, he is adequate at the ID and pickup of blitzes in play. Off of the snap, he has poor to adequate footspeed in his drop, adequate foot placement, and a tendency to short-set even on plays with longer drops. When anchoring through contact, he tends to have a wide base with heavy reliance on his back, core, and upper body strength. An initial move he struggles is a cross face off of the snap, especially from a 3T crossface rip. He can also be beat if the defender can out speed him to get contact first and nullify his use of the short-set.


Conclusion:

As a pass protector, Nelson is reliable on 3rd and long and can be depended on for longer drops but, may lose to quicker or more technically refined players that can evade his hands or beat his wide anchor stance. As a run blocker, he is effective in all blocks but, is a better fit in a power scheme as he has to work on reach footwork/speed. As a puller or in space, he is good from the backside and on screens but, gets nothing most when pulling playside or when he is beat to the hole by the RB. This was less of a concern in college since Josh Adams wasn’t a particularly fast player. He also showed a lot of development from 2016 to 2017, proving that he is coachable and hopefully still able to grow.

  • 1st Year Projection: Solid starter you can win with
  • 3rd Year Projection: Starter you could win because of if he continues to develop




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