With the NFL Draft coming up, it makes sense to take a look back at a recent turning point in the Indianapolis Colts franchise.
Heading into the 2018 NFL Draft, the Indianapolis Colts were in a unique situation. The team had just slogged through a season without their franchise quarterback, Andrew Luck. Although the team had the No. 6 overall pick in the NFL Draft, most analysts believed the team would be much better with a healthy Andrew Luck under center for the 2018 NFL season. Rather than trading back, the team selected an anchor for their offensive line, Quenton Nelson.
In the build-up to the 2018 NFL Draft, Norte Dame's Quenton Nelson was projected to be among the first names to come off the board. He played with a mean streak that every great offensive lineman has and seemingly had very little weaknesses. NFL.com's draft analyst Lance Zierlein compared him to NFL Hall of Famer Larry Allen and projected him to be a top 10 pick.
"Elite guard prospect with outstanding size, rare power and a block finisher who can make tape room sessions uncomfortable for most opponents. Nelson is technically sound and is unlikely to face a long adjustment period once he gets into the league. Nelson may need to make sure and keep his play speed high and prevent against taking his eyes off of his target when coming off the ball. Nelson has the traits and talent to become an All-Pro guard for years to come." (via NFL.com)
One NFC team personnel executive commented to NFL.com's team that Quenton Nelson represented the perfect package as an offensive lineman.
"He's so unique because he's big, but he's not fat. He's one of the best run blockers I've ever evaluated, but he's not a liability in pass protection like Mike Iupati is. He's also an alpha who can bring and ass-kicking mindset into your position room." (via NFL.com)
As if there was any doubt in Quenton Nelson's skills, his mindset is one that surely warmed the hearts of all offensive coaches. Speaking to media members at the NFL Scouting Combine, Quenton Nelson left little doubt as to what his objective was for each game.
“As a blocker, my mindset is being dominant,” Nelson told reporters at the NFL Combine. “I want to dominate all my opponents and take their will away to play the game by each play and finishing them past the whistle.” (via SBNation)
It took little time for Quenton Nelson to excel at the NFL level. He would be awarded the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Month Award in October for his part in revitalizing an Indianapolis Colts offensive line that hadn't allowed a sack in 156 consecutive pass attempts and produced 200 rushing yards in back-to-back games for first time in 33 years for the Indianapolis Colts franchise.
His play was so impressive that his highlights were routinely shown and USA Today even made an article about how Quenton Nelson was making offensive lineman highlights fun.
Following an impressive rookie campaign that saw Quenton Nelson earn a Pro Bowl and be named to the First-Team All-Pro, the future remains bright for Quenton Nelson and the Indianapolis Colts.
Football fans will have the chance to meet this emerging star on May 25 at the Incrediplex in Indianapolis as Quenton Nelson will be meeting with fans and signing autographs. Also attending the event are fellow Indianapolis Colts stars Darius Leonard, Marlon Mack, Eric Ebron and newly signed Devin Funchess.
For information on the Indianapolis Colts Autograph Signing Event, click here.
(Cover photo via Quenton Nelson's Instagram)