In an Indianapolis Colts season that will bring with it several huge questions, the play of superstar guard Quenton Nelson is something that Frank Reich can lean on as one of the very few constants on this squad.
Nelson has been named a first-team All-Pro in each of his first three seasons in the pros. With the Eric Fisher signing likely ending any speculation of Nelson moving over to tackle, the Colts can leave their star guard right where he has dominated the rest of the league for the last few years.
Nelson will not have a walk in the park despite the easier divisional schedule, as some of the very best pass rushers in the game, both at defensive tackle and defensive end, will try to pressure an erratic quarterback in Carson Wentz.
Nelson will have his hands full if he wants to extend his consecutive All-Pro streak to four this coming season. Here are three pass rushers that could get Colts fans just a bit spooked considering the result-altering talent they provide should they manage to get an unimpeded hit on a quarterback.
These 3 pass rushers will match up against Quenton Nelson and the Colts.
3. Chandler Jones, Arizona Cardinals (Week 16, December 25)
Jones has spent his whole career in anonymity, as his production was masked by the gravitational pull of Tom Brady in New England and the fact he’s put up numbers on some bad Cardinals teams. When they turned the corner last year, he only played a handful of games due to an injury.
None of that should be cause for concern. Jones is a three-time Pro Bowl pass rusher and a two-time All-Pro that remains one of the most lethal speedsters in the game. If he twists inside against Nelson, that speed might just be the ticket needed to get to Wentz.
Chandler Jones could burn the Colts.
The Cardinals have a legit fun defense after so many years of mediocrity. In addition to Jones, Budda Baker has become one of the game’s best safeties, and Vance Joseph is hitching his wagon to two of the youngest, most versatile linebackers in the game in Isaiah Simmons and Zaven Collins.
Jones, however, remains the one big target that the Colts must keep an eye on. Even as he has changed coasts, size, and defensive schemes, he has shown an ability to get to the quarterback and cause some genuine issues. Indianapolis, leaning on a Fisher/Sam Tevi combination, could see their line ravaged by the sack artist.