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INDIANAPOLIS – The names have included from Mike Tepper, Seth Olsen and Xavier Nixon.
Left tackle Anthony Castonzo thinks he can name all the left guards he’s played next to in his 7 seasons with the Colts, but he’s going to need some time.
Starting in 2018, Castonzo needs just 4 syllables to name the left guard of the future.
“At guard, you want one of those people that if he’s walking down the street and someone comes and runs at him full speed, that person is going to get knocked out even though he didn’t know it was coming,” is how Castonzo first describes Nelson, who the Colts selected No. 6 overall back in April.
“He’s got that ability that when people run into him, they move, and he doesn’t. He takes up space and it’s really good to know that he’s not going to be stepping on anyone’s feet because when his feet are in the ground, he moves people, they don’t move him. I think that’s what impressed me the most. He’s definitely like a fridge.”
The fridge added full pads over the weekend for the first time in his NFL career.
With all the hoopla that surrounds a top-10 pick training for a Combine/Pro Day and then visiting teams around the country, Nelson came into camp more fit, now that he’s settled into his NFL home.
“Physically, I think he’s gotten in better shape,” Frank Reich says of Nelson. “I think he came (to Grand Park) in great shape, and I can tell a difference from the spring.”
Nelson’s true introduction to the NFL is slowly reaching its crescendo.
The starting reps at left guard have been there since Day One.
Now, the full pads are here with the physicality of Training Camp ramping up.
Preseason games replicating more ‘real football’ is nearing, before Geno Atkins and Fletcher Cox come calling in the first three weeks of the season.
Nelson is hardly a talker—which the Colts have to love considering the strong work ethic that the first-round pick carries every single day.
Football is truly life for Nelson.
And the 6-5, 330-pound guard has embraced that with the Colts.
“Just that you have to start over and take a beginner’s attitude and you can keep learning every single day,” Nelson said of what he’s learned so far in the NFL.
“And not to be content with where you are.”
Watching Nelson in full pads over the weekend and you saw zero contentment from the rookie.
There were more ups than downs, with an impressive full-padded debut catching the eye of his head coach.
“Let’s just say he was excited to be in pads and was encouraging me to call runs and a particular run that he could block in a certain way, so that kind of got me fired up,” Reich says of Nelson. “He turned a few heads (Saturday), I think everybody saw it. He’s just really strong, but also, it’s the total package. It’s being strong, it’s having good feet and then it’s having that demeanor. So it was a good start for him.”
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