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Quenton Nelson named No. 2 guard by TouchdownWire

NFL: AFC Divisional Playoff-Indianapolis Colts at Kansas City Chiefs Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Flashback to January 5, 2019. Indianapolis Colts rookie left guard Quenton Nelson is lined up diagonally from Houston Texans defensive end Jadeveon Clowney. When the ball is snapped, Nelson wastes no time in absolutely bulldozing Clowney into the ground, making way for running back Marlon Mack to zip down the field. This block would make headlines for weeks to come, proving that Nelson is one of the most aggressive and powerful guards in the league.

Selected as the No. 6 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft out of Notre Dame, Nelson was the first guard taken that year. He dominated on the Colts’ offensive line all season, helping the Colts lead the league in sacks allowed. Nelson capped off his rookie season by being awarded First-Team All-Pro, and on Saturday was voted the No. 2 guard in the NFL by TouchdownWire’s Doug Farrar.

“There are those who believe it’s unwise to select a guard in the first 10 picks of a draft no matter how good that player may be,” Farrar said. “Those people may want to revise their opinion based on Nelson’s 2018 tape. Taken sixth overall by the Colts in the 2018 draft out of Notre Dame, Nelson immediately took a skill set that had me thinking he was the most talented player in his draft class regardless of position right to the NFL. In his rookie season, Nelson gave up two sacks early in the season and none thereafter, with 24 total pressures.”

In years past, the Colts’ offensive line has desperately struggled to protect quarterback Andrew Luck. In fact, he was at one time the league’s most sacked quarterback. When Chris Ballard and Frank Reich took over in Indianapolis, they knew a change needed to be made on the front lines.

Nelson deserves this spot on Farrar’s list. Not only did he completely upheave the offensive line and tighten up what was hanging by a string, but he added strength and aggression to the culture of the team. He is, without a doubt, one of the best in the league.

The Colts will look to improve upon their 10-6 record in 2019, and Nelson will likely return with just as much, if not more, drive and passion for the game.