For years, the Raiders enjoyed the luxury of having one the best interior offensive linemen in the league protect a young quarterback. Now, that distinction falls to the Colts. With Andrew Luck retired, Jacoby Brissett must feel safer with Quenton Nelson stopping oncoming tackles. In addition, this smacks of the Kelechi Osemele/Derek Carr bond tghat formed during Osemele’s time in Oakland
If you watch the film of Nelson and Osemele, you see a bit of overlap. When Osemele played in Oakland, he brought a physicality to each snap. Defensive tackles routinely found themselves either on the ground or thrown away from the play. Similarly, with Nelson, the ability to dominate opponents became readily apparent. When you look at both, the ferocity of their hands and willingness to manhandle every opponent screams for attention.
“Since I was growing up in youth football in Texas, that’s how we played,” Osemele said. “If you’re playing offensive line, you’re supposed to be physical, you’re supposed to be nasty, you’re supposed to be aggressive.
“You’re supposed to be stronger than the guy across from you, and he’s supposed to be faster than you are. So what you do is get your hands on him make him pay for trying to run away from you the whole damn game.”
“He’s completely driven. He’s about every single thing that encompasses [what] you would want to radiate throughout your team in terms of a work ethic. The kid is quiet. That’s the best part about him. He’s a quiet assassin. He’s not a guy I would think has to thump his chest and yell and let everyone know he’s in the room.
Above, Nelson’s former college strength and conditioning coach, David Ballou. If you notice Osemele and Nelson prefer to let their actions speak.
As mentioned, earlier this week, the Raiders need their defensive tackles to stand up. Hurst and Hall are the two the come to mind. While neither can match power with Nelson, they each possess the nimbleness to be a problem. Nelson will also be a problem on downfield blocks. As a result, smaller defenders need to either shed quickly or evade his hands altogether.
Foundation guards arrive so infrequently. When the Raiders signed Osemele, he became that. Upon his trade, they never enjoyed the same identity. In Nelson, the Raiders will see a younger version of their former Pro Bowl guard.