Jonathan Nelson (born May 6, 1988) is a former American football safety for the Carolina Panthers of the National Football League. He was drafted by the St. Louis Rams in the seventh round of the 2011 NFL Draft. He played college football at the University of Oklahoma.
Nelson attended Summit High School in Arlington, Texas. He was a three-year starter at cornerback. According to his coaches opponents threw away from his side of the field and as a result he ended the season with only one interception. The previous season he made 40 tackles and recovered four fumbles and recorded one interception. Nelson was a sprinter on the track team.
In his first year at Oklahoma, he redshirted the 2006 season. As a redshirt freshman in 2007, Nelson played in just two games due to injury. As a sophomore, he played on special teams, making seven tackles on the season. Nelson began the 2009 season as a nickel back, but started the final three games of the season and recorded 46 tackles and three interceptions. He was chosen honorable mention All-Big 12. After spending his career as a backup, Nelson broke out as a senior, making 102 tackles, breaking up seven passes and intercepting two more. He was rewarded by being selected All-Big 12 Honorable Mention for the second consecutive season.
2011 NFL Draft
|Ht||Wt||Arm length||Hand size||40-yd dash||10-yd split||20-yd split||20-ss||3-cone||Vert||Broad||BP||Wonderlic|
|5 ft 11 in||198 lb||30½ in||9¼ in||4.54 s||1.47 s||2.55 s||4.12 s||6.85 s||43 in||11 ft 4 in||22 reps||x|
|All values from Oklahoma Pro Day|
St. Louis Rams
Nelson was drafted with the 229th pick in the 2011 NFL Draft by the St. Louis Rams. He was waived during final roster cuts on September 3, 2011, but was re-signed to the team's practice squad on September 4. He was released from the practice squad on September 13.
Nelson was signed to the Panthers' practice squad on November 16, 2011. He was promoted to the active roster by the Carolina Panthers on December 23, 2011. He appeared in the final two games of the regular season, recording nine tackles and one interception in the games combined.