Offensive Guard ~ Quenton Nelson ~ Notre Dame Fighting Irish ~ 6050/325
The Gutters are riddled with the Corpses of Teams that were built around so-called "skill" Players ~ teams that delighted their Fantasy FootBall Fans every Year, all the way until January...until The Only Games That Really Matter.
It is then, of course, that the Capacity ~ or lack thereof ~ to Move The Chains and protect the QuarterBack against PlayOff Caliber Defenses rears its ugly head. And another Team built for Fantasy FootBall bites the dust.
This is how I break things down, when I'm evaluating Offensive Guards:
Power: Above all: Core Power. Torso Power is important, but Core Power, from the Knees to the Ribs, is absolutely crucial. All the upper body Strength in the world will still fail if you simply can't dig in your Heels. But Core Power enables an Offensive Lineman to project Power in the Running Game and to reject Power in the Passing Game.
Agility: Launch Velocity, Acceleration, and above all: Fluidity or Core Agility. Core Agility is even more essential to sustained good Health ~ and to sustained good FootBall ~ than Core Power. The ability to react with Serpentine smoothness is a tremendous Asset in all Aspects of the Game, and certainly in the Hand to Hand Combat that characterizes Trench Warfare. All the Power in the World goes only so far if you're lurching around like FrankenStein.
Frame: Vertical Leverage, Hands, Arm Length, and WingSpan.
Combat Skills: Lateral Leverage, Paw Positioning, Paw Persistence, and FootWork.
Processing Speed: How quickly and effectively one Reads & Reacts to the Rapidly Roiling Tactical LandScape!!
Motor: Endurance and Drive: How much Work has been put into Conditioning, and how it manifests itself.
Run Blocking: Applying it all: Power, Agility, Frame, Combat Skills, Processing Speed, and Motor.
Pass Blocking: Power, Agility, Frame, Combat Skills, Processing Speed, and Motor.
Broken down into SubCategories, it'd go something like this:
* Core Power ~ lower body Power. Core Power trumps Torso Power. Tyrannosaurus Rex had exceptional Core Power.
* Torso Power ~ upper Body Power. Important, but not crucial. T Rex had lousy Torso Power...yet was King.
* Anchoring Strength in the Passing Game. The capacity to Stand One's Ground.
* Drive Power in the Running Game. The capacity to drive your man back.
* Fluidity, above all things: Core Agility & Flexibility makes everything possible.
* Launch Velocity ~ Speed into Contact off the Snap.
* Acceleration ~ Short Speed or Quickness.
* Vertical Leverage. Height is crucial, but it's actually better, I believe, to be an Inch shorter than an Inch Taller.
* Hands. The larger the better, generally, but compact is never a bad Attribute in The Trenches.
* Arm Length. Absolutely crucial. He who boasts the longer Arms initiates Combat.
* WingSpan. Arm Length + Torso Width. A more complete Measurement.
* Lateral Leverage. Angles. Getting Square or better with the Target.
* Paw Positioning ~ It's all about Angles & Leverage.
* Paw Persistence ~ RPMs: Activity & Persistence.
* FootWork ~ RPMs: Activity & Persistence.
* Reading & Reacting to Defensive Schemes & Stunts quickly and effectively.
* Field Vision: Finding Targets & approaching them effectively.
* Power ~ Drive Power to project Power in the Running Game.
* Agility ~ especially Acceleration DownField or to the Flank.
* Frame ~ especially Vertical Leverage.
* Combat Skills.
* Processing Speed.
* Power ~ Anchoring Strength to reject Power in the Passing Game.
* Agility ~ especially Fluidity to Mirror the Pass Rusher.
* Frame ~ especially WingSpan.
* Combat Skills.
* Processing Speed.
Power: 100. Absolutely loaded. Sensational Core Power and Torso Power.
Agility: 50. Average in all regards: Launch Velocity, Acceleration up field and to flanks, and Fluidity to mirror.
Frame: 100. He's got the Right Height for good Vertical Leverage and a magnificent WingSpan.
Combat Skills: 90. Exceptional FootWork. Excellent Lateral Leverage. Awesome Paw Positioning and Paw Persistence.
Processing Speed: 75. Some whiffs, here and there, but generally reads the landscape quickly and very effectively.
Motor: 90. Excellent Stamina. Raging Intensity.
Run Blocking: 90 on a Zone Scheme Team. 100 on a Power Scheme Team.
Pass Blocking: 80, and with upside. Nelson's Agility isn't all that, but what he lacks in Fluidity to mirror, he makes up for, by leaps and bounds, in Combat Skills and a simply magnificent WingSpan. Hell. He could play Right Tackle.
What Quenton Nelson is, I believe, is a prospect whose reputation is richly deserved. His Power is through the roof, and while his Speed and Fluidity are moderate and perhaps even overrated, his Motor, Intelligence, and WingSpan offer to more than compensate for his moderate Speed in terms of translating to Range, up field and to the flanks in the Run Game...and to likewise more than compensate ~ especially that sensational WingSpan ~ for his moderate Fluidity to mirror.
As a Pass Blocker, he should be excellent, vulnerable only to the most elite interior Speed.
As a Run Blocker, he has flat out legendary potential.
And it terms of Impact...in terms of becoming the inspiring Soul not only of the Offensive Line but of the Offense...and in terms of helping craft the ability and mentality to win tough games after New Year's Day ~ when The Only Games That Really Matter are played ~ his potential is immeasurable. Quenton Nelson is a potential Franchise Guard.
Quenton Nelson won't go #1, of course, nor should he: In my opinion, either Joshua Rosen or Baker Mayfield are worth the #1 Pick and more...But if this were one'f those years where no QuaterBack prospect was worth the #1 Pick ~ or if the franchise owning that Pick had a franchise QuarterBack already ~ Nelson would absolutely be worth that value.
The general view is that this is a "QuarterBack league" and indeed QuarterBacks are obviously the most valuable position, all other things being equal...But the idea that you need a "Franchise QuarterBack" ~ whatever the Hell that is ~ to win a Championship is bullshit. Give me a solid, smart "game manager" who minimizes mistakes while taking what the Defense gives'm and Moving The Chains, combined with a dominant Offensive Line that enables that approach, and I'll take that Offense in January over a Franchise QuarterBack with a shaky Offensive Line that kills Drive every time.
And Quenton Nelson is precisely the kind of SuperBeast Trench Gorilla that a team can build such a Line around.
Pay the man!!
Thank you so very much, Draft BreakDown, without whom my Work would be virtually impossible.
Please also note, Fellow FootBall Fiends: These CyberScouting Reports are not intended as predictions of success or failure, but as assessments ~ ludicrously amateurish assessments ~ of potential success. FootBall is a rough and often unfair business, and many a worthy Prospect has fallen far short of his potential, sometimes not because of his own failings, but because of those of coaching, scheme, timing...or because huge investments were made on other Prospects.
In other words: If any of my Super Dooper Deeper Sleepers ever fail to fulfill their vast potential, I’m confident that it goes without saying that it wasn’t their fault…or mine!!...Yes, I think that I'm being funny.
In other words: Caveat Emptor, Fellow FootBall Fiends!!
Enter at your own risk!!