I think Nix would probably be playing a more coventional DE's role if he played in a major conference where bigger kids would automatically get the nod along the interior. He reminds of Elvis Dumerville coming out of Louisville... another kid that was overlooked due to size (5'11", 250). Dumerville was at least afforded the opportunity to avoid having to line up at defensive tackle.
I hope Roosevelt Nix gets a lot more time at defensive end. When he lines up at tackle he's only making plays one way, and when he's unable to do that he's getting blasted off the planet. When he lines up on the wing, he does some interesting things that make me wonder if he could translate at that position.
With him I worry that the puzzle pieces just don't fit together. He's got natural advantages owing to his size when he lines up on the interior. He's 50 or 60 lbs lighter and 5 inches shorter than all these interior offensive linemen, who are generally the worst athletes in college football. Of course he's going to be quicker than them and if in the scheme you don't mind your defensive tackle taking himself out of the gap defense on a consistent basis, he's going to be able to get in the backfield and make plays. Because of some unique qualities that he possesses, but mostly because of the level of competition, these poor athletes aren't able to consistently use their size and strength advantage in order to nullify his speed advantage. But the next level is going to be a different landscape. If those guys are athletic enough to allow their size/strength advantages to nullify his speed advantage, he's toast. Not even rosterable as an interior player. Very slippery slope that way, IMO.
So then you get to the question whether he can be a defensive end. If you took all his tape and sliced out 90 percent of it (making up these numbers as I go, btw), and kept just the 10 percent where he's lined up out on the edge...is that the tape of a compelling defensive end prospect a la Elvis Dumervil? You probably recall that Elvis may have been short, but he had really long arms and a good frame. And all those TFLs he had (I remember he had something like 23+ in his final year), they came from End. Point is, if you just straight up cut out every play he's ever made on the interior, and not even looked at it...is this a player that looks interesting at End?
It's the fact that he plays beyond what's asked of him that reminds me of Dumerville. The sign of a player that plays beyond what's asked of him is found in the number of turnovers they force. Dumerville's most unique quality at Louisville was that he forced an enormous amount of fumbles once he got in the backfield. It's the sign of a finisher. This is what Nix does.
I see guys all the time that can't do this, even when most of the work has already been done for 'em. They'd rather stand around and watch.
The DE spot for Nix is a complete projection since that's not what he's asked to do. However, it's what he's going to have to do. He's obviously not going to play DT in the NFL at 245 pounds.
I completely disagree with your evaluation that he only makes plays one way. As a matter of fact, if your insinuation is that Aaron Donald is even more talented, I'll take that bet every time.
Nix has already stood up against Bama's offensive line. He dominated it by himself as a sophomore. I watched him plug a goalline stand against Kentucky's offensive line.... a guy named Larry Warford. Nix stands out the most when he's faced against the better competition.
Yeah, he's a rosterable player.
I undersold Dumervil. He did indeed have 23 TFLs as I recalled, but 21 of them were Sacks. I'd forgotten about that. Incredible. And indeed I believe he had 11 forced fumbles. That's a pretty good ratio (2:1). Normal ratio of sacks to fumbles is about 4:1.
I said that if you're plugging Roosevelt Nix in at defensive TACKLE there's a good chance he's unrosterable. Defensive end is a question mark. A "complete projection" as you put it.
And if your insinuation is that Roosevelt Nix is more valuable than Aaron Donald, I'll take that bet every time.
- below average arm strength
- poor footwork - doesn't step into his throws in the pocket, throws flat footed, front foot isn't pointed in the direction he's throwing
- doesn't/can't throw downfield
- questionable pocket awareness - sometimes he looks like he has good pocket awareness but the majority of the time he gets happy feet & bails out too early
- accuracy issues - throws behind his receivers running slants & floats high passes to receivers on the edges
- plays strictly out of the shotgun
- through his actions he comes off as entitled & a premadonna
- the Tim Tebow effect - the cult following which will only get bigger but probably not as big as Tebow's will cause teams to shy away because they don't want to deal with the headache from the media & fans
- great improvisation skills
- keeps his eyes downfield when he's running around in the backfield
- his elusiveness.
Great college player but he's about reached his ceiling.