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HT: Quenton Nelson wants to crush his opponents’ wills

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The guard is a potential Top 5 overall pick for a reason, and he showed us why today.

NFL Combine - Day 1 Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Quenton Nelson is having himself quite a week at the NFL combine. The guard prospect out of Notre Dame. Word is that he did well in his interviews with various teams, and he certainly grabbed a lot of attention when he put up 35 bench press reps today.

The Broncos certainly noticed.

But as impressive as that was, what Nelson had to say in his public interview might have been even better. His confidence in his skills is clearly evident. Early in his interview, someone asked about Nelson’s mindset when he’s out there playing.

His response was everything you’d want to hear from an elite offensive line prospect: “As a blocker, my mindset is being dominant. I want to dominate all my opponents and take their will away to play the game by each play finishing them past the whistle.”

But the young guard isn’t all about brute strength. He’s a technician as well, and that’s doubly encouraging.

The next question followed up on the mindset theme, as a reporter asked if Nelson considered himself to be a nasty player. His response was short and not very sweet: “Yeah, I would consider myself a nasty player.” But for an offensive lineman, that’s an attitude to savor.

Is Nelson worth a top 5 pick, though? He’d tell you he is, and I’m not about to argue.

“I should be talked in that regard, the top-five conversation,” he said, “Because you have (defensive linemen) that are dominating the NFL right now in Aaron Donald, Geno Atkins, Fletcher Cox that have just been working on interior guys.”

“You need guys to stop them,” he added, “I think I’m one of those guys.

“You talk to quarterbacks, and they say if a D-end gets on the edge, that’s fine. They can step up into the pocket and make a throw. A lot of quarterbacks, given the opportunity, can do that. That’s what I give is a pocket to step up in. I also help the offense establish the run through my nastiness. And establishing the run also opens up the passing game. That I think is a good choice.”

Guard is an unusual position to take in the top 5 picks of the draft. But if the Broncos land Kirk Cousins in free agency, giving him a great offensive line will be the team’s next order of business. In that pursuit, they could do worse than drafting Quenton Nelson.

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