The Jets will select Notre Dame G Quenton Nelson with the No. 6 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, predicts Albert Breer of MMQB.
"Will drafting a guard high go over well in New York? If the Jets find a quarterback before the draft, I wouldn't worry about that. Nelson has a chance to be in the same class as Irish alum/Cowboys All-Pro Zack Martin," notes Breer.
Nelson, who is Notre Dame's captain this season, was an AP Second Team All-American in 2016.
He started all 12 games at left tackle in 2016 as Notre Dame's offense averaged 417.6 total yards per game.
Breer has the Bucs selecting Alabama DB Minkah Fitzpatrick with the No. 5 pick and the Raiders tabbing Notre Dame OT Mike McGlinchey with the No. 7 pick.
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Nelson could theoretically be a first round option for the Jets. While Breer implies that Jets fans would grumble about taking a lineman rather a "sexier" pick for a skill-position player, I think it would actually be quite well-received, much as the D'Brickashaw Ferguson pick was back in 2006.
However, in terms of positional value, it's difficult to endorse using the sixth pick on an interior offensive lineman. Even if Nelson is as good as Martin -- and he is a very good prospect who would potentially upgrade the running game overnight -- would that be a more valuable pick than a difference-making pass-rusher, shutdown corner, or offensive weapon? Probably not -- and that's why you rarely see guards going that high. Some experts believe this draft class might not be that deep, so perhaps this year will be different. Such talk could lead to an influx of underclassmen entering the draft, though.
The next question is why does Breer have the Jets picking sixth anyway? If they continue to play as they have so far this year, they'll pick somewhere in the middle of the first round, barring a trade-up. Perhaps they'll even end up at a spot where selecting a guard will be more defensible. However, don't be surprised if they've already addressed that need in free agency.