According to PFF’s Ian Hartitz, Indianapolis Colts’ 3x First-Team NFL All-Pro offensive guard Quenton Nelson would be on his star-studded 11-man ‘Space Jam’ squad—joining some of the NFL’s other greatest gladiators playing both sides of the football:
INDIANAPOLIS COLTS G QUENTON NELSON
The only offensive lineman on the squad, Nelson has repeatedly shown the ability to offer far more high-end athleticism than your usual big ugly. There’s also just the simple reality that nobody is nastier at the point of attack. Nelson will probably have to play center in this offense, but that shouldn’t be too big of an obstacle for the odds-on favorite as the single-best interior offensive lineman in the league. It remains to be seen just how good Nelson will be on defense, although he should at least fetch his fair share of single blocks by playing next to our next player.
Here’s the ground rules for the ‘Space Jam’ squad’s selection:
1. This scenario is happening on July 16, 2021, so current injuries apply. Thus: My sincerest apologies go out to Saquon Barkley and A.J. Brown, among others.
2. The game will be the usual 11-on-11 format with proceeds donated to charity (if, you know, Earth doesn’t get destroyed).
3. Aliens were pretty short on overall numbers in the original Space Jam, so the roster size will be restricted to just the 11 starters (God is turning in-game injuries and stamina off for this one). Guys will have to play both ways, which is tough, but we’re also defending the planet here, so deal with it?
4. Not many, if any, penalty flags will be thrown. The aliens aren’t jerks; they’ll line up properly and get the snap off before the play clock runs out. Still, the official’s lives may very well cease to exist if they piss off the aliens; don’t expect many ticky-tack holding calls on either side.
5. The squad will be coached by Dan Campbell. He’s the only choice for a situation like this.
Honestly, such a scenario takes me back to one of my favorite video games growing up, ‘NFL Street’, where you had to assemble the best squad of two-way NFL players pick-up-game ‘recess-style’.
However, there’s no question that Nelson is a special athlete for an offensive guard position that is often viewed as unsexy or unglamorous among league circles.
He’s made highlight reels of bone-crushing blocks, bringing much needed swagger to the position—while showcasing his immense strength, quick feet, and elite athleticism.
At 6’5”, 330 pounds, Nelson figures to not only be a great interior offensive lineman, but also a stout defensive tackle playing the other way.
While Colts fans haven’t seen what Nelson can do defensively, there’s no doubt in my mind that he could be a solid defensive lineman out there—happily holding his own.