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The Journal Gazette

Thursday, April 26, 2018 9:00 pm

Colts select Notre Dame guard Nelson No. 6 overall

DYLAN SINN | The Journal Gazette

Notre Dame guard Quenton Nelson became the second Irish offensive lineman in three years to be a Top 10 draft pick Thursday, when the Indianapolis Colts selected him with the sixth overall selection at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

Nelson joins tackle Ronnie Stanley, who the Baltimore Ravens took at No. 6 in 2016, as the only Irish offensive linemen since at least 1955 to be chosen in the first 10 picks. The Colts' newest guard becomes the 14th lineman out of Notre Dame to be selected in the first round since the NFL Draft was first held in 1936.

Before the draft, Stanley tweeted his support of Nelson and offensive tackle Mike McGlinchey, who is expected to be selected later in the first round.

"Good luck to all my brothers from @NDFootball but im definitely most excited for (Nelson) and (McGlinchey)," wrote Stanley, who has started 27 games in his two seasons in the NFL. "Done a lot of hard work with these guys and whoever gets them won't regret it. Welcome to the league fellas"

Nelson continues a string of Notre Dame linemen to be top draft picks in recent years. In addition to Stanley, the Dallas Cowboys selected tackle Zack Martin 16th overall in 2014. Martin has been a Pro Bowler in all four of his years in the league. 

The three first-round linemen in the last five years come after a run of 10 straight drafts dating back to 2003 that saw no Notre Dame linemen selected. Nelson also becomes the first Irish guard to be selected in the opening round since Luke Petitgout in 1999.

NFL.com's Lance Zierlein called Nelson an "elite guard prospect with outstanding size, rare power and a block finisher who can make tape room sessions uncomfortable for most opponents."

"Nelson has the traits and talent to become an All-Pro guard for years to come," Zierlein wrote.

dsinn@jg.net