Scouting Roundtable: OL Quenton Nelson

Scott Young📎

Ok who's here?

Zachary Grier 🏈

Barely

Noah Lee

Me to

Lorena M.

Oh it's now? i'm always confused by timezone. I'm here!

Steve Bowles

I'm off somewhere

oh, here I am!

Scott Young📎

Lolol

Scott Young📎

Ok so Quenton Nelson. He's viewed as the top OG in this draft class and one of the best prospects overall. Snap judgment, do you think he deserves that praise?

John Tiberio

Yes

Lorena M.

Yes

Zachary Grier 🏈

Yes

Noah Lee

Yes

John Tiberio

Nelson is the best OG in this draft, best since Martin came out

Noah Lee

Has unreal athletic ability for a man his size

John Tiberio

6'5" 330 pound Seniors with 30 career games at OG do not come around often

Scott Young📎

Thank you for bringing up size. At 6'5" and 330, what kind of athleticism do you guys notice that stands out? Anything specific?

Lorena M.

He's heavier than what a zone team would look for, but anyway he can get to the second level fast and move laterally well

John Tiberio

he fires out of his stance very quickly, love his attack mindset. agile enough to maintain pad level even against finesse rushers

Lorena M.

Do you guys remember the play where he got to the gap in right against a S that is coming super fast? There has recognition and athleticism

John Tiberio

I'm not worried about his ability to fit in a particular blocking scheme, he has shown the ability to execute pull, ace, combo and all standard blocks at a high level

Noah Lee

You also see him always finish his blocks and play with aggression

Scott Young📎

Now when it comes to playing with aggression, I kind of put that in the same category as finishing the play, has he had any bad moments where he kind of gives up on plays?

John Tiberio

Not that i am aware of, Nelson is a beast and will continue through the whistle at all times

Noah Lee

I haven’t seen it in 3 games I watched. Nelson plays with aggression along with his athleticism and technique which is why you hear the top ten talk about him

Lorena M.

No, he has the mentality of always finishes. It isn't rare to see that the play went to the other side and he's blocking with the same energy if it was going by his side

Bret Rumbeck

I love Nelson’s run blocking. It’s textbook flawless. He’s aggressive and does not cede an inch. I didn’t care much for his pass blocking. He’s great on a 3-step drop play... say 324 Omaha/Thunder/Smoke. But anything longer he gets a little lazy.

John Tiberio

you mentioned the draft, although OG is usually not prioritized as high as some other positions, he could go as high as #3 to Indy. his perfect fit may be at #8 with the bears. especially after hiring ND oline coach Harry Hiestand

Noah Lee

Do you think there’s any chance niners pass on him if he’s there?

Zachary Grier 🏈

Yes

Steve Bowles

That's my worry, too ... that he won't fall to us.

Steve Bowles

especially with the Bears o-line coach hire

Anthony Pastore

Would guy's throw in a pick to move up and get him? Of course, there are a lot of intriguing prospects in this year's class so I wouldn't guarantee him anywhere. 49ers could look in a lot of different areas but he would be a great fit there and although the bears connection is a possibility, same can be said for them drafting the ND LT Mike McGlinchey as well

Zachary Grier 🏈

The draft honestly depends on how FA goes. If we pick up a couple of Guards then we're not getting Nelson

Kyle Breitkreutz

If I were he 49ers, I’d move up for Roquan Smith

Thats just me though

John Tiberio

my biggest question would be if the bears pass on Nelson, especially for another offensive lineman, do you still take Nelson or worry something is wrong?

Steve Bowles

Yeah, that's another thing I have to keep reminding myself - how FA goes will determine the draft needs.

Zach Pratt

I'll admit, I am not a savant when it comes to technique for offensive linemen. There is one thing that I found impressive, though. Nelson is so quick off the ball and plays with an obvious aggression, but he is also incredibly disciplined. I just looked through every game log for Notre Dame this season. In 13 games, he only had three penalties: two false starts, and one holding. No personal fouls. He's aggressive, but he is very disciplined with how it is used.

Steve Bowles

Oh wow.

Scott Young📎

Especially when it comes to the Niners that's pretty intriguing.

John Tiberio

the best part about Nelson's career is his LSU game. probably his toughest game/matchup with that front 7 and coaching and he dominated every single snap

Steve Bowles

Playing devil's advocate: how much of that can be attributed to NCAA officials letting things slide whereas NFL officials would call it more often?

John Tiberio

very possible but if you watch his games and his technique, he is very clean. the transition should be decently seamless for him

Steve Bowles

Gotcha

Zach Pratt

I would argue that the officials would be more whistle-happy with personal foul penalties. Protecting the kids, and all. Though they may be more lenient with false starts and holding. That would take a lot more data than I have access to.

Scott Young📎

Now Bret had mentioned that his pass blocking didn't seem as impressive as his run blocking. Has anyone else noticed that? Any specific differences you guys have noticed?

John Tiberio

I wouldn't worry too much about the NCAA/NFL flag throwers bc the same can be said for all offensive linemen. so while you may add a few flags to Nelson, the same would be said for everyone else and he is still impressive in comparison

Zach Pratt

Agreed.

John Tiberio

Nelson is a true run blocking bulldozer. That's where he truly shines. While his pass protection does show some area of improvement, it's nothing he can't develop at the next level you could also consider the QB play at ND and wonder how many times the ball should have already been out by the time Nelson shows his weakness. a quick passing attack would benefit him and hide those areas of his game while he develops

Noah Lee

My thought is hat technique can be developed but you can’t teach his athleticism and aggression

John Tiberio

his hand placement is a bit worrisome on pass protection as he has let it get a little too outside while in pass protection. Nothing that can't be cleaned up at the next level though. This is common for young guards.

Bret Rumbeck

Agree, Noah. I’m not totally concerned. Pro coaches can make some needed adjustments.

John Tiberio

exactly, no prospect is perfect but he may be as close to clean as any OG prospect can be. I (boringly) compare him to Zac Martin, very similar styles and ability. Some would say Nelson posseses more physical gifts as Martin has below average arm length for the position.

Scott Young📎

Now one of the Staples in regards to the Niners is Shanahans scheme. He loves masking whether it's pass or run as best he can. Does Nelson fit into that mold well enough or can grow into it?

John Tiberio

while someone more familiar with the 49ers may be better at answering this, I think Nelson is a plug and play prospect. He will excel wherever it is he plays and whatever scheme he is asked to perform. His experience, athleticism and agressivness show he can perform well in any environment

Steve Bowles

He played in ZBS at Notre Dame, so at a minimum he's a fit in that regard.

John Tiberio

agreed

Bret Rumbeck

I don’t see an issue. Interior linemen like him are almost plug-and-play. It just takes a bit of time to catch onto the system.

Jay Moore

A lot of ppl are talking about his size in the outside zone blocking. The way that i look at a guard in the OZ is he needs to be agile. And normally smaller guards are more agile. But Nelson has such quick feet for his size ya a non issue. So his size is actually a plus because he’s so quick on his feet for his size

John Tiberio

I'm not sure if I'm able to communicate my feelings well, can everyone tell I LOVE Nelson?

Bret Rumbeck

Nelson’s footwork and base are flawless.

Defend The House

Does anyone not love Nelson?

Scott Young📎

I said Boo-urns

Scott Young📎

Now no one's perfect and everyone has flaws, if you had to pick something that might hinder his rookie year, what would it be? Any lingering injuries, off field issues, anything to suggest he may struggle to learn a different scheme?

Lorena M.

I cant image a off field, you only read good comments about the kid. I think it has a learning curve and he may not be great in the beginning, but he's the type the player that you can bet money that will be great.

Bret Rumbeck

It always boils down to willingness to work. Can you put the time in the gym/film room to get better? Doesn’t matter if it’s Nelson or Mr. Irrelevant.

Zach Pratt

Someone who has watched more video may be able to answer this, but has he faced any speed rushers, or only more prototypical DTs? I'm thinking of the old Giants "Nascar" lineup or Ohio State's defensive line, where they just put 4 speedy pass rushers on the field and tell them to attack. Nelson is obviously strong enough to handle power rushers, but does he show enough finesse to deal with speed moves?

John Tiberio

there are no injury concerns with Nelson. he missed only 1 career game due to a minor ankle injury and it was in 2015

Zach Pratt

One way to handle aggressive offensive line play is to use that aggression against them, get them off balance, and use finesse to go around them. If he hasn't faced many speed rushers on the inside, that may be one thing to think about as a potential "issue."

John Tiberio

I'm not worried about his ability against speed rushers. nelson shuffles his feet very well and maintains pad level. he holds his own against those rushers. his attack mindset off the snap also helps him grab hold of a speed rusher before he gets moving

Scott Young📎

One of the things that comes to mind is something like what the Seahawks did this year in taking a Center and transitioning him to OT. If a team does that for whatever reason do you think he has the necessary athleticism to succeed?

Bret Rumbeck

I’d avoid that kind of switch. If the 49ers need a tackle, find a tackle. I’d rather Nelson stay inside, but that’s a point of personal preference.

John Tiberio

that's a really bad strategy, I mean Seattle’s oline play was horrible this year. If you need a tackle, McGlinchey and Williams are better options

Scott Young📎

I'm sure there's a GM (a few come to mind) who'd be dumb enough to try it haha

John Tiberio

lol for the sake of the 49ers, lets hope Lynch isn't one of them

Steve Bowles

it would be a lot to ask of a kid to come in to a team that has some fresh hype around it and play a position he isn't as comfortable/familiar with.

Scott Young📎

While I'd say Lynch is smarter than that, I consider the Zuttah trade his only real major misstep, so I keep that in the back of my mind

Anything else anyone wants to add?

John Tiberio

I'd like to add that I love Nelson

Lorena M.

That he is a prince and I will cry when othe team select him

Steve Bowles

He would fill a huge need, for sure.

Bret Rumbeck

I mentioned Nelson in a 49era Hub article in November and then EVERYONE GOT ON BOARD.

Scott Young📎

Bret Tiberius Rumbeck: Known trendsetter

Bret Rumbeck

Ha!

I’m stuck in 1996/summer of ‘97.

Scott Young📎

What is a Gangnam style

Lorena M.

I was ready for them to draft when they were the second pick. Now 9/10 may be to far. Damn it, Jimmy G

Thank you for joining us everyone!

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