Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

New Jersey Lineman Nelson Visits Giants; Jets Could Bite Also

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

New Jersey Lineman Nelson Visits Giants; Jets Could Bite Also

Article excerpt

INDIANAPOLIS — Quenton Nelson is like a lot of young New Jerseyans, in that he grew up rooting for the New York Giants. But unlike most Giants fans, Nelson is 6-foot-5 and 325 pounds. And he wasn't hanging on every clutch pass from Eli Manning or acrobatic catches from Victor Cruz.

Nelson was observing the guys in the offensive trenches.

"I grew up a Giants fan watching Geoff Schwartz, Shaun O'Hara and Chris Snee," Nelson said on Thursday at the NFL Combine. "And they had a great interior offensive line and won a couple Super Bowls. So that was awesome, being a Giants fan."

Now it's possible that Nelson, the top offensive line prospect in the NFL Draft, will follow in their footsteps.

The former Notre Dame offensive guard has already sat down for a formal interview with the Giants and Packers. And he'll likely draw interest from the Jets. The Giants pick second overall and the Jets pick sixth. Nelson, who played high school football at Red Bank Catholic, is projected to be a top 10 pick, perhaps higher.

If that's the case, Nelson would join rare company: only two guards have been picked in the top 10 in the last five drafts: Jonathan Cooper (seventh overall) and Chance Warmack (10th overall) both went in the top 10 in 2014. But Nelson firmly believes he belongs at the top of the draft, answering convincingly when asked if he's worthy of a top-five pick.

"I think I should be talked in that regard, the top five conversation," Nelson said. "Because you have guys that are dominating the NFL right now in Aaron Donald, Geno Atkins, Fletcher Cox, that have just been working on interior guys and you need guys to stop them and I think I'm one of those guys."

Nelson is clearly confident. But it's a charming self-belief, not a cocky one. After explaining why he belongs in the top five, Nelson was asked if he's been trying to convince teams to select him that high.

"I don't think about it too much. I let my play do all the talking and my film do all the talking," Nelson deadpanned. "The question [about being in the top five] was asked, so I answered it."

Nelson is a ferocious blocker. He's been known lift defensive linemen off their feet and knock them to the ground, on their rear ends. …

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