Nick Nelson

Wisconsin
CB

Prospect Info

College
Wisconsin
Hometown
Class
District Heights, MD
Junior
Height
Weight
Arms
5' 11"
200 lbs
30 3/4”
Hands
9 1/4”

Prospect Grade

5.59
Chance to Become NFL Starter
How We Grade

2018 Draft Results

Drafted by
Oakland
Raiders
Round 4 ‧ Pick 10
40 Yard Dash
4.52
Seconds
 
Bench Press
17
Reps
 
Vertical Jump
--
INCHES
 
Broad Jump
123.0
INCHES
 
3 Cone Drill
--
Seconds
 
20 Yd Shuttle
--
Seconds
 
60 Yd Shuttle
--
Seconds
 
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Playlist

In 2015, Wisconsin traveled to Hawai'i and beat the Rainbow Warriors 28-0. Nelson was on the losing squad that day, and the Badgers were on his mind when he made the decision to transfer back to the mainland. Nelson was an honorable mention all-state receiver during his high school days in Maryland, and decided to head to the islands to attend college. He played in 10 games, starting eight, as a true freshman, posting 36 tackles and six pass breakups. Nelson started all 13 games in that 2015 season (53 tackles, 1.5 for loss, 15 pass breakups, forced fumble) before moving to Wisconsin to redshirt the following year as a transfer student. He met all expectations in his only year in the cardinal-and-white, starting all 14 games and finishing tied for third in the country with 21 passes defended (no interceptions). He was named first-team All-Big Ten after the regular season after being credited with 35 tackles, a blocked kick, and served as the team's punt returner (24 returns, 206 yards, one touchdown).
By Lance Zierlein
NFL Analyst
Draft Projection
Rounds 4-5
NFL Comparison
Mackensie Alexander
Overview
Nelson is fairly well-built, but lacks desired height and length for the perimeter and his position fit could be fluid depending on team philosophy and scheme. It is extremely rare for a defender to log over 40 passes defensed during his career and not land a single interception so teams will have to decide how they categorize Nelson's "ball skills" -- especially in light of his high interference numbers. Nelson is a competitor with adequate athleticism as a man cover corner who looks the part of an average NFL starter, but may see his draft grade slip due to his recent injury.
Strengths
  • Took step up in competition from Hawaii to Wisconsin and sustained his ball production
  • Known for practice habits and work ethic
  • Plays with good patience from press
  • Doesn't let feet get ahead of him when matching initial release
  • Lateral slide quickness to mirror early phases of the release
  • Makes it physical inside the route
  • Maintains feel for receiver and keeps man coverage tight
  • Contested catches are no fun against him
  • Plays with decent makeup burst to chase out of route breaks
  • Led nation in 2017 with 21 passes defensed and has 42 for career
  • Cautious from off coverage
  • Doesn't eat bait easily and is hard to double move
  • Sprints downhill in run support to limit the runner's angles
  • Has experience as punt returner
Weaknesses
  • Is a little tight in opening his hips from a backpedal
  • Needs to learn to trust his technique
  • Penalized 183 yards over last two seasons which includes 12 holding and pass interference penalties
  • Despite ball production, never posted an interception
  • Gets bogged down playing man over ball and will turn it into a wrestling match
  • Doesn't have a feel for body positioning to take it away
  • Slow to respond to pattern development from off coverage
  • Allows receivers to gain position on slants
  • Too much arm tackling
  • Needs to play with better technique as tackler
  • Tore meniscus during pro day workout

News

Path to the Draft

Final quick-snap 2018 NFL Draft grades for all 32 teams

Best and most worrisome picks from the 2018 NFL Draft

Winners and losers from Round 1 of the 2018 NFL Draft

Winners and losers from Rounds 2, 3 of the 2018 NFL Draft

GRADE
9.00-10
Once-in-lifetime player
8.00-8.99
Perennial All-Pro
7.50-7.99
Future All-Pro
7.00-7.49
Pro Bowl-caliber player
6.50-6.99
Chance to become Pro Bowl-caliber player
6.00-6.49
Should become instant starter
5.50-5.99
Chance to become NFL starter
5.20-5.49
NFL backup or special teams potential
5.01-5.19
Better-than-average chance to make NFL roster
5.00
50-50 Chance to make NFL roster
4.75-4.99
Should be in an NFL training camp
4.50-4.74
Chance to be in an NFL training camp
NO GRADE
Likely needs time in developmental league