Christian Barmore and Levi Onwuzurike are the two names headlining the thin defensive tackle class, but there is a third who has the potential to be the best. The third being Iowa Hawkeyes big man, Dayvion Nixon. Nixon is a polished run defender who has extremely high pass rush upside. He has a big frame but moves like a linebacker. Dayvion is super light on his feet and is shifty with his rushes. With proper coaching in the NFL, he could become a pure disruptor in the middle of any defense.
Position: 3T Defensive Tackle
Weight: 305 lbs
2019 Stats: 13 games played/19 SOLO/29 TOTAL/5.5 TFL/3 Sacks
2020 Stats: 8 games played/22 SOLO/45 TOTAL/13.5 TFL/5.5 Sacks
1.Nixon has a pretty effective rip and chop move. He is so powerful that even when his technique isn’t perfect, he can get his angle by just making contact with the blocker’s arms. He shows great timing with these moves and they will serve as a great base for his pass rush arsenal in the NFL.
2.One of my favorite parts of Nixon’s game is his quickness. He is quick to make blockers miss and he is quick in his pursuit to the quarterback or ball carrier. His choppy feet allows him to cut and juke faster when reacting to a blocker’s move. All while being 300+ pounds.
3.Dayvion looks unstoppable on his bull rush sometimes. He carries great power in his 6’3″ frame and drives all 305 pounds of himself through blockers with relentless leg drive. Nixon is stronger than many three techs in the league today and coaches will drool over his ability to come in and use his strength to at least contribute to the run stop from day one.
1.Sometimes Nixon will take himself out of plays by reacting to the wrong read. He is going to need some mental sharpening in the NFL. More specifically, he’ll need to be more patient and trust his athleticism will help him close the deal if a play comes his way.
2.Dayvion only had one year of great play and is still developing at the position. He can be a two down player for his rookie year and possibly his sophomore campaign but being a three down player isn’t in the cards for a little while. He needs to polish his moves and sharpen his IQ.
Dayvion Nixon was a Bronco Nagurski Award finalist for a reason. He is extremely athletic and twitchy for an interior lineman and carries great upside with him to any scheme. Once coached up, Nixon could be the best tackle from this class but he is a definite project and teams will need to be patient with him.
Draft Projection: Second Round
Pro Comparison: Jarran Reed