The path for Quenton Nelson to end up with the Chicago Bears on draft night looks easy, but it could turn out to be anything but that, depending on how the first seven picks shake out.
Let’s say three quarterbacks go off the board in the first seven picks. That still leaves four teams that could thwart the Bears’ plans to take the All-American guard, who grades out as a top-5 or top-10 prospect by most (if not all) notable draft big boards. Even if four quarterbacks went off the board, it would still leave three teams that could swipe Nelson before Chicago even went on the clock.
And it’s possible one of those teams could be the New York Giants.
While answering questions for his Giants mailbag, ESPN’s Jordan Raanan explores the possibility of the team trading out of the second pick. Not only does Ranaan believe there is a “decent chance” the Giants trade back, he sees Nelson as a realistic possibility as a player New York would target if it was successfully able to trade back.
Ranaan believes the Notre Dame guard is viewed by the Giants front office as a “gold jacket” guy – as in the kind of jacket given to a Hall of Fame player upon his enshrinement. He also hints at the idea of the Giants using two of their top selections on linemen, citing GM Dave Gettleman’s love of “hog mollies.” Make no mistake, New York has emerged as a threat to take Nelson from right under the Bears’ noses.
There is no secret what Nelson is right now. He is college football’s top offensive line prospect, an instant starter for whatever team drafts him, and a potential impact player with loads of upside. There is a reason Nelson is at or near the top of every significant draft board and why he could break the mold and be the rare interior lineman chosen in the top-10.
With that being said, losing Nelson wouldn’t be worst thing to happen to the Bears. It could open up avenues to another player landing in Chicago, or even lead to a potential trade back of their own to a team that has its eyes on a quarterback. Still, the Giants are a team we’ll need to keep an eye on because the entire first round of the 2018 NFL Draft could hinge on what they do with pick No. 2.