Blue and Gold Illustrated

June July 2018

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 37 of 63

38 JUNE/JULY 2018 BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED BY BRYAN DRISKELL N otre Dame's 2018 draft class was relatively small with only four players getting selected, but that didn't keep it from making a statement. For the first time in school annals and just the third time in NFL Draft history, two offen- sive linemen from the same school were chosen among the first 10 picks. Guard Quenton Nelson was picked No. 6 overall by the Indianapolis Colts, and the San Francisco 49ers made tackle Mike McGlinchey the No. 9 selection. The last time a pair of offensive linemen from the same school were chosen in the top 10 was 1991, when Tennessee's Charles McRae and An- tone Davis were taken seventh and eighth, respectively. McGlinchey's selection also meant that every left tackle to start a game during head coach Brian Kelly's ten- ure at Notre Dame — a span of 103 contests — has gone on to become a first-round pick in the NFL Draft. He joined Zack Martin (No. 16 overall in 2014) and Ronnie Stanley (No. 6 overall in 2016). Notre Dame has now produced four first-round picks along the of- fensive line in the last five drafts — more than any program in the country. Tight end Durham Smythe and wide receiver Equanimeous St. Brown also heard their names called during the 2018 draft. Smythe went to the Dolphins with the No. 123 overall selection in the fourth round, while St. Brown was snagged by the Green Bay Packers with the No. 207 overall choice in the sixth round. COLTS 'EXCITED' TO LAND NELSON Indianapolis Colts general man- ager Chris Ballard and head coach Frank Reich realize how important it will be to protect franchise quar- terback Andrew Luck, so revamping their struggling offensive line was a focal point of the offseason. Ballard made a significant move in that di- rection when he selected Nelson with the Colts' first pick of the draft. "You win games up front," Ballard said. "Quenton Nelson, we thought, was the best offensive lineman in the draft. "He's got everything we want in terms of character, work ethic, tough- ness and passion for this game. He is going to be great for this team and great for the city of Indianapolis. We're extremely excited to get him." Reich was the offensive coordina- tor for the Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles this past season. He had a nine-time Pro Bowler at left tackle (Jason Peters), a two-time Pro Bowler at center (Jason Kelce) and a 2017 Pro Bowler at right tackle that was the No. 4 overall pick in the 2013 draft (Lane Johnson). He knows the value of dominant line play. "My first impression was this is the best offensive lineman I've seen com- ing out in the draft in a while," Reich Quenton Nelson was selected No. 6 overall by the Colts to become the NFL's highest drafted offensive guard since 1975. PHOTO COURTESY INDIANAPOLIS COLTS MAKING HISTORY Notre Dame's four-man draft class did something rarely seen

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Blue and Gold Illustrated - June July 2018