Quenton Nelson, one of the greatest players to ever wear the uniform of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, begins his path to do the same in the NFL. The “garage door with arms” will play guard for the Indianapolis Colts after being selected with the sixth pick overall in the 2018 NFL Draft.
Nelson is the highest guard selected in the NFL Draft since the Atlanta Falcons chose Pittsburgh Panthers’ Bill Fralic second overall in 1985. This is the highest a Notre Dame player has been selected in the NFL Draft since tackle Ronnie Stanley went sixth overall in 2016. Nelson’s rookie contract will be worth $23,983,414, which includes a $15,522,484 signing bonus, according to Over The Cap.
Nelson was a part of the 2014 recruiting class for the Irish that already saw DeShone Kizer drafted last year, and perhaps a few more to come in this draft as well. Nelson has been the starter at left guard for the past three year, and has started every game for Notre Dame. He and his fellow offensive linemen won the Joe Moore Award in 2017 for having the best offensive line in college football.
Quenton earned Unanimous All-American honors after a 2017 season that had everyone in the country drooling. Week after week, gifs and video clips of Nelson’s brutal blocks and freakish strength would make their rounds across the internet. His legacy at Notre Dame was being cemented, as well as a a certain first round selection.
Nelson was a captain for Notre Dame in 2017, and many scouts and analysts have him graded as the best player in the draft - regardless of position. He has also been hailed as the “surest thing” a team could get in a draft pick. People — lots of people — believe that Quenton Nelson is destined for greatness.
Other fast facts from the Notre Dame football information department:
- Nelson is the third Irish offensive lineman in the last five years to be selected in the NFL Draft’s first round (Zack Martin, the Dallas Cowboys’ pick in 2014 and the aforementioned Stanley, who was picked by the Baltimore Ravens).
- Nelson is the 15th Irish lineman to be taken in the first round of the NFL Draft, a list that includes Jeff Faine in 2003 (Cleveland Browns), Luke Petitgout in 1999 (New York Giants) and Aaron Taylor in 1994 (Green Bay Packers).
- The Colts have drafted 13 Notre Dame players, but Nelson is the first since punter Hunter Smith was taken in the seventh round of the 1999 draft.
Reaction on social media:
Former Irish safety Matthias Farley
Ayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy https://t.co/bstTgW1cyQ— Matthias Farley (@mfarley41) April 27, 2018
A live look at Andrew Luck’s reaction to the @colts selecting @BigQ56 ... #NFLDraft pic.twitter.com/IiLu2oYs0Y— Amber Theoharis (@AmberTheoharis) April 27, 2018
"Quenton Nelson was the best offensive lineman in the draft. He's got everything we want. He's going to be great for this city & team."— Tricia Whitaker (@TriciaWhitaker) April 27, 2018
- #Colts GM Chris Ballard on the team's 1st round draft pick, former Notre Dame guard Quenton Nelson. pic.twitter.com/tGID3r5tbD
Notre Dame didn't have a single top-6 pick from 1994-2015.— ESPN CollegeFootball (@ESPNCFB) April 27, 2018
The Irish have now had 2 in the past 3 years. pic.twitter.com/gIkCVWx7zq
Dearest mother —— Capt. Andrew Luck (@CaptAndrewLuck) April 27, 2018
I am elated. The unit has added Pvt. Nelson to its ranks. I foresee myself and this young man working closely on the field of battle. Let the kinship begin.