The Bengals were among the teams in attendance to watch expected top 10 pick Quenton Nelson at Notre Dame pro day.
Offensive coordinator Bill Lazor got a good look at Nelson, who’s pretty much unanimously considered the best offensive lineman in the draft.
During the above interview with Nelson at his pro day, he said the Bengals were the only team to ask him if he could play tackle in the NFL. Nelson played guard exclusively during his time in South Bend.
“That’s up to the GMs and owners to decide,” Nelson said on which position he’ll play at the NFL level. “None have asked about tackle besides the Bengals.”
It makes sense that Nelson could play guard or center in the NFL, but why move him to tackle? The Bengals may have been asking him just to see how he’d answer the question. Or, maybe they’d really want him to try his luck at right tackle if he joined the team.
With that said, the Bengals have no chance of drafting Nelson unless they trade way up in Round 1. Nelson will not make it to pick No. 21 and he could even be off the board by the fifth pick. Considering what we know about how the Bengals value the guard position (not highly; see Kevin Zeitler) and how infrequently they trade up in the draft (four times in team history) don’t count on Nelson becoming a Bengal.
If the Bengals are interested in an offensive lineman from Notre Dame, offensive tackle Mike McGlinchey is a more likely option for the team. Lazor should have been giving him a good look, too as he’ll be in consideration for the team’s first round pick.
Both McGlinchey and Nelson say they plan to spend draft weekend at home and will not be going to Dallas for the event.