2018 NFL Draft: Quenton Nelson leads OL classThe Florida Times-Union, Jacksonville — Phillip Heilman The Florida Times-Union, Jacksonville
April 16--OFFENSIVE LINE
ON THE ROSTER (12): LT Cam Robinson, LG Andrew Norwell, C Brandon Linder, RG A.J. Cann, RT Jermey Parnell, G Tyler Shatley, T Josh Wells, G Chris Reed, G Brandon Thomas, G Josh Walker, G Avery Gennesy and T William Poehls.
The Jaguars prioritized upgrading their offensive line in free agency and may not be done. They made Norwell the league's highest-paid guard ($13.3 million average and a $30 million guarantee) to build alongside Linder and Robinson. Cann and Parnell are fine players but could face competition if the Jaguars select an offensive lineman early in the draft. If the Jaguars opt to address other needs initially, it would make sense for them to circle back and add depth later on.
PLAYER SCHOOL HT./WT. POS.
1. QUENTON NELSON NOTRE DAME 6-5/329 Guard
Redshirted in 2014, Nelson went on to start 36 of 37 career games and became the 34th unanimous All-American in Notre Dame history (first since linebacker Manti Te'o in 2012) last season. ... A mauler who is stout in run blocking and pass protection, Nelson was the school's first offensive lineman to be named a unanimous All-American since Aaron Taylor in 1993. ... Played next to likely first-round left tackle Mike McGlinchey and helped pave the way for 1,000-yard rushers (Josh Adams, C.J. Prosise) in two of the past three seasons. ... Widely considered to be the safest pick in the draft and could be selected as early as No. 2 by the New York Giants.
2. ISAIAH WYNN GEORGIA 6-3/313 Guard/Tackle
Made 21 starts at left tackle, 19 at left guard and one at tight end during four seasons at Georgia but played exclusively at tackle (15 starts) in 2017. ... Projects as an interior lineman in the NFL due to below-average height and wingspan (78 7/8 inches). ... Suffered a torn labrum during a game against Kentucky on Nov. 18 but opted to continue playing. ... Considered dominant at Senior Bowl despite the injury before later undergoing surgery. ... Displays excellent footwork and a powerful punch and could play multiple spots along the offensive line in a pinch.
3. MIKE MCGLINCHEY NOTRE DAME 6-8/312 Tackle
The latest in a Notre Dame pipeline that has produced first-round tackles Ronnie Stanley and Zack Martin over the past five years. ... Fifth-year senior began his career at right tackle (14 starts first two years) before transitioning to left tackle (25 starts final two years) after being redshirted in 2013. ... Played in 51 games (39 starts) overall. ... Pass protection needs improvement, particularly against speed moves to the outside. ... Run blocking can be dominant due to upper-body strength. ... Key to his development will be footwork -- reaching for defenders led to problems in college.
4. WILL HERNANDEZ UTEP 6-2/348 Guard
Held scholarship offers from Power 5 programs but ended up at UTEP due to academic issues. ... Redshirted in 2013 and moved from defensive line to offensive line. ... Started all 49 games at left guard the following four seasons and was the top offensive lineman in Conference USA. ... Would be the first UTEP player to be selected in the first round since linebacker Fred Carr went fifth and guard George Daney went 22nd in 1968. ... Moves smoothly considering his weight and should have no problem excelling as a run blocker while his pass protection improves. ... Lack of experience against top-level competition is a concern.
5. JAMES DANIELS IOWA 6-3/295 Center
Played in 36 games (25 starts) for the Hawkeyes, including 23 starts at center his last two seasons. ... A top-notch athlete with natural movement and sound fundamentals. Adding weight to hold up at the point of attack is necessary. ... Medicals will get attention -- Daniels missed three games his last two years with knee injuries and has had surgery to repair a partially torn meniscus. ... One of the youngest players available in the draft, Daniels doesn't turn 21 until September and hasn't neared his potential.
Since 2000, the only interior offensive linemen to be taken among the first 10 picks in a draft were Jonathan Cooper (seventh in 2013), Chance Warmack (10th in 2013) and Leonard Davis (second in 2001). Nelson is going to change that. He could be selected as high as No. 2 by the New York Giants and is unlikely to make it past Chicago at No. 8. ... What will teams do about Oklahoma tackle Orlando Brown? After making an impressive 40 starts over three seasons, he was a disaster at the Scouting Combine. ... Like Wynn, Texas' Connor Williams is a college tackle who could transition inside in the NFL. Williams made 28 starts at left tackle in three seasons but has a 77 7/8-inch wingspan -- 4-7 inches shorter than most tackle prospects. ... At 6-foot-9, UCLA tackle Kolton Miller is a big man with a wide range of opinions. Some experts have him going among the first 25 picks, others have him going as late as the third round. ... TCU tackle Matt Pryor, likely a Day 3 pick, wins the Big Hands Award with 11 1/2-inch mitts.
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