INDIANAPOLIS - Quenton Nelson has no doubt that he's the best offensive linemen in this NFL draft and that he's easily one of the Top 5 overall players. He's big, tough, and described himself as "nasty".
And during his press conference at the NFL scouting combine on Thursday he said plenty of things that Giants GM Dave Gettleman had to absolutely love.
"As a blocker my mindset is being dominant," Nelson said. "I want to dominate all my opponents and take their will away to play the game by each play and finishing them past the whistle.
"Yeah, I would consider myself a nasty player."
That was surely music to Gettleman's ears, considering his love of "Hog Mollies" - the big, tough offensive linemen the Giants so desperately need. Nelson, a 6-5, 330-pound guard out of Notre Dame (and before that, Red Bank Catholic down on the Jersey Shore) had already been interviewed by the Giants as of Thursday (as well as the Packers). And he made it clear to everyone he's one of the best five overall players in this class, and should at least be in the conversation at No. 1.
He didn't do that with just words, either. He put on a show at the bench press, doing 35 reps of 225 pounds.
If anyone had any doubts that he was a Top 5 pick, they shouldn't have them now.
"I think I should be talked in that regard, the top five conversation," Nelson said. "You have guys that are dominating the NFL right now in Aaron Donald and Geno Atkins, Fletcher Cox that have just been working on interior guys and you need guys to stop them. And I think I'm one of those guys.
"You talk to quarterbacks, and they say if a D-end gets on the edge, that's fine, they can step up in the pocket and they can throw. A lot of quarterbacks if given the opportunity can do that. That's what I give, is a pocket to step up in. And I think I also help the offense establish the run through my nastiness. And establishing the run also opens up the passing game, so I think it's a good choice."
He could be a great choice for whatever team picks him, and if the Giants don't take a quarterback he's going to be really tempting for them at No. 2. Gettleman has made it clear that fixing the Giants' offensive line is one of his top priorities, and that he considers interior linemen just as important as tackles.
Nelson would be a heck of a fit with the Jets too, as they try to fix a line that coach Todd Bowles admitted was a disappointment last season. Picking at 6, though, probably means Nelson won't be there unless a run on quarterbacks pushes him down.
Being picked by the Giants at No. 2, though, would be special since Nelson grew up a Giants fan. He said he used to watch their interior linemen like Chris Snee, Shaun O'Hara and Geoff Schwartz. "They had a great interior line and won a couple of Super Bowls," he said, "so that was awesome being a Giants fan."
Chances are, though, the Giants will either take a quarterback or Penn State running back Saquon Barkley, leaving the best "Hog Mollie" in the draft to someone else. That's fine with Nelson, too, and he promised whoever takes him won't regret it. He not only believes he'll be one of their best players, but he'll also be one of the hardest workers, too.
"Whatever offensive line I join, what I want to do is keep my head down, work very hard, learn a lot from the older guys and earn their respect through my work ethic and how I carry myself day in and day out," he said. "And then we'll take it from there."