It’s that time of year: NFL draft chatter is beginning to pick up before the season is even over.
On Monday afternoon, DraftAnalyst.com’s Tony Pauline reported that Wisconsin Badgers redshirt junior cornerback Nick Nelson “is telling people close to him, including teammates, he will enter the 2018 draft and is close to choosing an agent.”
About 2.5 hours later, Nelson responded on Twitter:
“I have not made any decisions on my future. I am currently focused on this upcoming Orange Bowl. Please stop trying to write my story for me.”
I have not made any decisions on my future. I am currently focused on this upcoming Orange Bowl. Please stop trying to write my story for me ❗️ #OnWisconsin— Nick Nelson (@Nickcityy) December 5, 2017
Nelson transferred from Hawaii, and after sitting out last year due to NCAA rules, became a consensus first-team All-Big Ten selection in his first season in Madison. He leads the nation in pass break-ups with 20 and is sixth in the nation (second in the Big Ten) in passes defended per game.
His presence helped solidify a Wisconsin defense as a top-five unit once again in 2017, as the team is ranked first in the nation in total defense (253.2 yards per game), passing efficiency defense (96.31), and fourth in passing yards allowed (160.6). The Badgers are also rank second in the nation in scoring defense (13.2) and rushing defense (92.6).
All in all, it would not be surprising if Nelson declared for the NFL after a season where he neared lockdown corner status. He is a physical corner who matched up well with opponents’ best wide receivers.
Wisconsin will definitely lose senior cornerback Derrick Tindal due to eligibility, along with safety Natrell Jamerson and four other senior starters after the Capital One Orange Bowl on Dec. 30.
Behind Nelson and Tindal is a younger group. Dontye Carriere-Williams moved into the third cornerback spot in nickel subpackages this season, with the likes of Caesar Williams, Madison Cone, Faion Hicks, and Cristian Volpentesta also currently on the roster.