The Case for Quenton Nelson at 8
Could Quenton Nelson be the guy headed to the Chicago Bears with the 8th pick?
There are certain rules that teams adhere to during the NFL draft. One of those rules is that if you are going to spend a top ten pick on an offensive lineman, it should be to draft a tackle, and not a guard or center.
But then there’s Quenton Nelson.
Nelson is a 6’5, 329 lb guard out of Notre Dame that has every team in the NFL drooling. Many scouts feel that Nelson is the best player in this draft regardless of position and that some scouts basically already have him as a multiple time All-Pro on his way to Canton.
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Nelson already has tremendous power, great technique and has a mean streak in him that cannot be matched. His ability to get to the second level and finish blocks is unparalleled.
Nelson isn’t a perfect prospect, he’s had a couple of injuries over the years and some of his technique needs a little help, but he’s about as good of a prospect at that position that the NFL has seen in years.
For the Bears, it seems like a match made in heaven. The Bears have a few holes on the starting lineup still and one of the large ones is at guard after the release of Josh Sitton. The idea of Nelson with Cody Whitehair and Kyle Long could make a tremendous interior unit that could push the Bears offensive lines into one of the top 10 units in the league.
The biggest question for Nelson is if he’s still there for Chicago to take. If four quarterbacks are indeed taken between 1 and 7 and Bradley Chubb and Saquon Barkley are also gone that means the Bears are still one more selection away from getting Nelson. It’s probably not worth the draft capital for the Bears to move up a couple of spots (say to 6 with Indianapolis) to guarantee taking Nelson, but if he’s there at 8, it seems like a no brainer.
There is a lot of love for Denzel Ward among the top selecting teams so there is a solid possibility that Ward could go in the top seven and Nelson slides to Chicago at 8. That’s the ideal situation. If Nelson, Chubb and Barkley are all off the boards, that really leaves it wide open for the Bears at eight, the smartest thing at that point would probably be to trade down.
If Nelson is there, he should be Ryan Pace’s top choice, but if he’s not, it really is anybody’s guess what Chicago could do with that pick.