Colts 2018 rookies: Quenton Nelson
Now that everyone has a full season under their belt, it’s time to analyze how each rookie’s season ended up. First, we look at the number six overall pick in last April’s draft.
The Colts have done a great job of turning over their roster under GM Chris Ballard. He has done that mostly through draft picks. This past draft might have been one of the franchise’s best. And it started with the number six overall pick, Quenton Nelson.
Nelson was brought in to help protect Andrew Luck and open holes in the running game. He did both things very well in his first season, being named to the Pro Bowl and first team All-Pro. He was steady from the moment he was drafted, and didn’t miss a single snap.
Because of Nelson’s presence, the entire offensive line picked up their play. They allowed a league-low 18 sacks in the regular season after allowing a league-high 56 last season. Nelson was a big reason for that dramatic shift in protection.
Once the entire line got healthy, they started running the ball down people’s throats. Nelson was a big part of that, annihilating defensive tackles and ends so Marlon Mack had big holes to run through. There were several occasions where he pancaked Jadeveon Clowney in the wild card game.
Nelson will be a cornerstone on the offensive line for the next ten years. He is tough, durable, and mean. Those are all qualities you need if you are going to be a great offensive lineman. He showed in his first year that he possess all of those qualities and more.
Ballard made an excellent decision to drat Nelson. He has already gotten early returns, and should continue to see those returns grow as Nelson grows stronger and smarter.