Raiders: The Case for Quenton Nelson

Although interior offensive linemen usually do not go in the Top 10, Quenton Nelson looks to be one of the exceptions.

The last time interior linemen went in the Top 10 was 2013 when Jonathan Cooper went 7th to the Cardinals and Chance Warmack went 10th to the Titans. Both players were complete busts. Before that, you have to go back to 2001 when the Cardinals took Leonard Davis with the 2nd pick. Davis did play a few seasons at left tackle but mostly played right guard for the Cardinals and Cowboys earning a few Pro Bowl nods along the way. Overall he had a successful career.

The question becomes how good do you have to be at what some consider a non-premium position for teams to not care how high they take you.

Whatever that bar is, Quenton Nelson clears it with ease. He is a household name now after being ranked 2nd overall in NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah’s Top 50 prospects. He is flat out filthy on tape with defenders simply unable to get off his blocks. For someone his size (6’5″ & 330lbs) he has no issues pulling and getting out in space. As far pass protection he has the lateral quickness to man up interior pass rushers.

Raider Nation is probably shaking their heads right now since the one position they don’t feel is needed, aside from quarterback, is at guard with two good relatively young ones already in place. I would counter with a few things:

  1. The Raiders are more than a few players away so they should be drafting best available regardless of position (aside from quarterback).
  2. Kelechi Osemele did play right tackle early in his career so it would be feasible to slide him over especially with good coaching.
  3. The main reason why I think this is not impossible; Jon Gruden and Reggie McKenzie have implied and even said as much that they want tough nasty players to set a physical tone for their team and they don’t come much nastier than Nelson. This is a statement pick as to the kind of player Gruden wants and the style of football they want to play.

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13 thoughts on “Raiders: The Case for Quenton Nelson”

  1. Barkley if he’s available at the 9 or 10 spot. I know we have Lynch, Richard and Washington but Lynch has a year left. Richard and Washington have ball security issues (in my opinion). Kid is a game changer. His size and speed is something that cannot be passed on if he’s available. Just ask the Jags about their back. Linebacker if Bowman doesn’t comeback and Barkley is gone.

  2. LouCR8Rfan4life

    I don’t disagree at all_yet for the life of me I don’t know why. I agree that bringing the RAIDERS back to their “Glory days” would mean bringing on like Quinten Nelsaon. I just think they have far greater needs elsewhere so I would have to say a Hard Pass is necessary & go either middle linebacker or DB is the wiser route with their 1st pick.

  3. Raiders already have 3 studs in the middle in KO, Hudson and Jackson. He is a great talent, but absolutely not a need. Maybe if they plan on moving KO to tackle would they need a guard, but they can find a serviceable one later in the draft. I say HELL NO!

  4. the offensive line is not an issue with this team. Specifically at the guard position. Osemele is an all pro and Gabe Jackson is a pro bowl caliber player. With Hudson at Center, also a pro bowler, we have a top notch interior line! Defense should be the focus with the first pick, unless Barkley miraculously falls to number 9 pick, which won’t happen….. Insert any SEC defensive stud with the first pick and I’m cool with it!

  5. Scherff was a hybrid prospect. Many thought he would play tackle in the NFL. Some thought he was more suited to play inside.

  6. Better argument than I expected. Vita Vea is my pick. He could also set the tone at a more needed position.

  7. Good point that you referred sliding Osemele outside. Even if we pass on Nelson in Rd. 1, there is a good chance of finding OG in later rounds. And considering Penn’s injury and age along with the need of maximum protection for Carr to be effective, it’s a great option to consider.

  8. Anthony Arreguin

    You were right! I was shaking my f****** head. He’s a good prospect, but not a fit for the raiders. There is every other position on the team raiders will address before drafting a Guard that high. And your stats on draft busts doesn’t help your argument! Why would we draft a guard when we just paid Donald Penn a lot of money to play tackle the next 2 seasons. Osmele and Jackson are to earn over 100 million combined. Yeah lets go ahead and draft a guard.

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