The top ranked o-lineman for the second straight year. pic.twitter.com/3uicgUmPb0— Indianapolis Colts (@Colts) August 22, 2021
It marks a consecutive season in which Nelson was ranked the league’s best offensive lineman overall. Here’s what they said on ‘Big Q’:
One highlight reel you don't want any part of.— Indianapolis Colts (@Colts) August 22, 2021
The NFL Top 100 carries greater weight than some of the other more arbitrary player rankings out there because it is voted on by current NFL players (i.e., a collection of Nelson’s peers).
Since becoming the 6th overall pick of the 2018 NFL Draft, the 25 year old has instantly become arguably the league’s top offensive lineman—which is no small feat in itself.
Nelson has made all 48 starts for the Colts offensive line and has anchored the interior of their standout unit with his unworldly combination of athleticism, strength, football intelligence, awareness, and physicality.
Simply put, he’s been the top catalyst and tone-setter in the offensive trenches.
Per PFF (subscription), Nelson was their 3rd best graded offensive guard this past season with a +87.5 overall grade. Specifically, in pass protection, Nelson surrendered just 13 total pass pressures and a sack in 659 total pass blocking snaps. Meanwhile, in the ground game, he was no doubt a dominant blocking force in opening up large holes for rookie sensation Jonathan Taylor to rush for over 1,100 yards and have 11 rushing touchdowns.
Notoriously making an art out of ‘pancaking’, ‘Big Q’ continues to be an elite level talent for the Colts and remains one of the young cornerstones of the franchise—as his now oversized player banner successfully dons an outside wall of Lucas Oil Stadium among the team’s other current greats. As long as he can stay healthy, Nelson is on the fast track to Canton, Ohio, as he figures to be a perennial All-Pro for the foreseeable future.
While Nelson is currently rehabbing from a recent offseason foot surgery, he’s expected to be back in the starting lineup some time during the beginning of the 2021 regular season—as he’s returning to team training camp practice this week in a limited capacity.