The Chicago Bears created a need along the offensive line by not picking up the third-year option on Josh Sitton, and college football’s top offensive line prospect could be the perfect fit.
Charles Robinson of Yahoo! Sports shared some key measurements from Notre Dame guard Quenton Nelson’s weigh-in, which were nothing short of impressive:
#NFL Combine Key Measurements thread…
8. #NotreDame G Quenton Nelson
Hand: 10 3/8 👀
Arm: 33 6/8
Wingspan: 82 5/8 👀
— Charles Robinson (@CharlesRobinson) February 28, 2018
While being 6-foot-5 and 325 pounds makes Nelson a mountain of a man and help him stand out among this group of offensive line prospects, the two numbers that pop for Robinson (and anyone else reading this) are Nelson’s hand size (10-3/8 inches) and a wingspan that reaches 82-5/8 inches. Those are the kinds of numbers one could expect from an offensive tackle.
Which brings us to something Dan Pompei mentioned in one of his most recent pieces at The Athletic that discusses the idea of the Bears using the eighth pick on Nelson: “Choosing Nelson also makes sense if your evaluators have a strong conviction that he can play left tackle with the same degree of efficiency that he can play guard,” Pompei wrote. “A dominant left tackle has considerably more value than a dominant guard. If he’s Jimbo Covert, there is no need to overthink.”
I’m not necessarily fond of the idea of moving a prospect drafted at one position to a new one for the sake of filling a need, but Nelson’s raw measurables suggest he could handle a move from inside to outside. More importantly, if OL Coach Harry Hiestand (who coached Nelson at Notre Dame) believes his former pupil can make a smooth transition to tackle, then picking Nelson with the eighth pick is an easy decision to make.
Of course, whether he makes it to the Bears at No. 8 is something that is still to be determined.