The NFL Scouting Combine is underway in Indianapolis and for a pair of former Shore Conference standouts it’s a golden opportunity to display their talents in front of all 32 teams. Quenton Nelson (Red Bank Catholic/Notre Dame) and Mike Gesicki (Southern Regional/Penn State) are among the 300 invited prospects who will participate and look to enhance their draft status over the next several days at Lucas Oil Stadium.

Nelson is considered the top offensive line prospect in the draft after an All-American career at Notre Dame. A 6’5, 329lb guard the former Casey football and basketball player is projected to go early in the first round, anywhere from 5-12 overall. Nelson is considered among the top five players by many but with so many teams in need of a quarterback he might drop a bit based on position need.

USC v Notre Dame
(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

However, most experts feel he will be a Pro Bowl type player with a long career in front of him. Scouts cite his intimidating power among his many strengths and love his aggressiveness plus it’s expected he will make a quick transition to the pro game. As to any chance he will land with a local team, if the Jets sign a free agent quarterback before the April 26 draft then they could take him with the 6th overall selection.

Gesicki improved throughout his career at Penn State and has emerged as one of the top tight ends in the nation. The 6’6, 252 pounder is a match-up problem for many defenses and a superb athlete who was also a standout basketball and volleyball player at Southern and could have played any of the three sports at the collegiate level. He improved greatly as a pass-catcher but will need to improve his blocking to be an every down player in the NFL. Many scouts believe he has great upside and he’s projected to go somewhere between the middle of the 2nd and end of the 3rd round in the draft.

Nelson, Gesicki and the rest of the players at the combine will perform physical and mental tests in front of NFL general managers, coaches and scouts and how they do can impact their draft position and salary. The NFL Network will televise portions of the workouts including the 40-yard dash and positional skill drills. Nelson and the offensive lineman are scheduled for Friday, March 2 with Gesicki and the other tight ends to go through their drills on Saturday, March 3. Live coverage begins each day at 9 a.m.

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