DT LOUIS NIX, NOTRE DAME*

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6’3” – 340 lbs. – 5.25e

STATISTICAL PROFILE:

2010: Redshirt
2011: 45 – 4.5 – 0.5, 1 PD
2012: 50 – 7.5 – 2.0, 3 QBH, 1 FF, 5 PD
2013: 27 – 2.0 – 2 QBH, 2 PD

OVERVIEW:

Redshirted as a freshman in 2010, but started eleven games the following year, a feat he accomplished once again in 2012. In 2013, started eight games overall, missing two games with knee tendonitis and then undergoing surgery to repair a torn meniscus.

POSITIVES:

•    Massive nose tackle prospect with outstanding size and bulk; really looks the part.
•    Should be able to fit into either even or odd fronts with one-or-two-gap principles.
•    Has already occupied the nose tackle position in a 3-4 defensive front in college
•    Pretty quick and explosive off of the line of scrimmage, especially given his size.
•    Powerful enough to drive back linemen with his bull rush when single-blocked.
•    Size and strength give him a quality anchor, regularly draws and handles double teams.
•    Has surprising stamina and a good motor, contributing to above-average range.
•    Uses a few different moves when trying to shed blocks; swim and bull rush are best.
•    Gets enough pressure on quarterbacks to project as a potential three-down player.
•    Remembers to get his hands up against the pass consistently, has had some success.
•    Typically one of the first Notre Dame defenders to react to the ball being snapped.

NEGATIVES:

•    Although he’s better than anticipated, will never be a dangerous pass rusher.
•    Gets a little bit high out of his stance, forfeiting some leverage to his opponent.
•    Could still re-set the line of scrimmage with more frequency, rather than settling in.
•    Occasionally struggles to locate the ballcarrier while defending against the run.
•    2013 season ended prematurely with a meniscus surgery, will require evaluation.
•    Wasn’t nearly as productive during his junior season as he was in 2011 or 2012.

SUMMARY:

Any team looking for a capable nose tackle to reinforce their run defense could do worse than Nix, who combines incredible size with a solid motor and underrated effectiveness as a pass rushing option. He’s not consistently dominant, but plays with a high energy level and could realistically succeed in a variety of defensive fronts, allowing the team which drafts him to get creative with their looks up front. His best fit is probably as a two-gap nose tackle in a 3-4 defense. RD 1

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