Zion Nelson
Zion Nelson  OT  Miami | NFL Draft 2023 Souting Report - Portrait Image
Zion Nelson
Home town
Sumter, SC
Player Rating
PositionRank (OL)
FortyYD Time

Zion Nelson OT Miami | NFL Draft Profile & Scouting Report

Zion Nelson OT Miami
NFL Draft Profile & Scouting Report

Overall Rank: #85 Position Rank: #18 (OL)
40 time: 5.03 seconds
Height: 6-5 Weight: 316
Hands: 10 7/8 Arms: 35 Span: 84
Overall Rating: 85.2 / 100
Stock Down
Game performance weighted rating
Pass Blocking:
Run Blocking:
DRAFT PROJECTION: 3rd Position rank: #18
College Games: 37 College Snaps: 2452
ESPN College Recruiting
Grade: Model.PlayerDetailFlat.RecruitingStarRating ESPN  Stars Model.PlayerDetailFlat.RecruitingStarRating ESPN  Stars (72/100)
247 Sports Recruiting
Grade: Model.PlayerDetailFlat._247_RecruitingStarRating Stars Model.PlayerDetailFlat._247_RecruitingStarRating Stars (83/100 )
Draft Profile: Bio
Zion Nelson from Sumter High School was rated a 3 star recruit by ESPN and handed a 3 star grade by 247 Sports. Following high school, Nelson opted to join Miami.

In 2019 as a freshman Nelson saw action in 13 games and played on a total of 840 snaps for the Hurricanes. He allowed 22 QB hurries, 4 QB hits, and 12 sacks while playing at left tackle.

As a sophomore in 2020 he played in 10 games and a total of 652 snaps. He conceded 5 QB hurries, 4 QB hits, and 3 sacks while playing most of his snaps at left tackle.

In 2021 as a junior Nelson saw action in 12 games and totaled 898 snaps. He gave up 9 QB hurries, 3 QB hits, and 3 sacks while playing at left tackle.
Scouting Report: Strengths
  • Nelson has good length and decent overall size for the position and posses very quick feet and excellent speed. May run as quick a high 4.9s
  • Very technical pass blocker who has graded very well for the past two years
  • Rarely is beaten by speed rushers on the edge
  • Nice long arms - enables him to get into defenders and keep them at a distance
  • Gets out of stance super quick so you rarely see him beaten off the line
  • Awareness is above-average for his limited experience. Sells trap block and can turn to seal. Fluid getting to and adjust at the second level.
  • Really good lateral agility with nice change of direction skills as both a pass protector and a run defender
  • Has the feet to adjust when he anticipates what's coming. Effective trapping and bends at the knees with adequate core strength to absorb the bull rush. Can clear a path at the second level if he hits the target.
  • Versatile - skills translate so will likely be equally accomplished as a right or left tackle in the NFL
  • Above-average football smarts and general intelligence. Solid character and work ethic.
  • Has good footwork and technique. Balanced and agile pass protection set with excellent hand placement.
Scouting Report: Weaknesses
  • Doesn't have great balance and is a bit of a waist bender instead of bending at the knees as you would like
  • Not nearly as impressive as a run blocker and fails to drive lineman backward
  • Needs to work on his hand technique in pass protection. He needs to also use more consistent leverage and continue to move his feet
  • Doesn't always play with a killer instinct
  • Plays a little high and loses leverage battles and plays with high pad level
  • Nelson only recently weighed 240 lbs and as a result, does not have elite strength or power- he's more of a technician - will need to improve this area if he wants to dominate at the next level
  • Stops his feet after initial contact, relying on length but allowing the defender to get the corner or spin inside
Scouting Report: Summary
Zion Nelson is a technically adept player who has excellent pass protection skills but is somewhat limited as a power driver in the running game. Nelson will need to get stronger at the next level if he is to be looked at as an eventual starting NFL left tackle.

We look at Nelson as a third or fourth-round prospect in the 2022 NFL Draft who has significant upside at the next level. Ideally suited to a pass-happy scheme that doesn't make heavy use of the power run game.
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