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2014 Nfl Draft: Who I Want For The Falcons...


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from Walterfootball.com

Louis Nix 2014 Preview

By Charlie Campbell


Career Recap: Nix has been a disruptive force for Notre Dame the pat two seasons. He didn't see action as a freshman in 2010, but earned a spot in the starting lineup in 2011. The sophomore totaled 45 tackles with 4.5 tackles for a loss, .5 sacks and a pass batted.

In the spring of 2012, head coach Brian Kelly almost rode Nix out of South Bend and removed him from a starting spot. Nix worked his way back into the starting lineup, and it looks like a motivational ploy by Kelly.

If it was a ploy, it paid off; Nix was even better as a junior. He caused a lot of havoc at the line of scrimmage and helped set up teammates Stephon Tuitt and Manti Te'o to make plays. Nix totaled 50 tackles, 7.5 tackles for a loss, two sacks, five passes batted and one forced fumble on the season. The numbers don't illustrate how good he was for the Irish. In the loss to Alabama in the National Championship, Nix played better than the vast majority of his teammates. He held his own against the Crimson Tide's superb offensive line with some impressive plays. Nix had five tackles and two tackles for a loss.

Nix decided to return for his senior year even though he could have had a serious shot of being a first-round pick.

2013 Season Outlook: The Fighting Irish take on a quality schedule of solid programs, but there don't appear to be any super star guards or centers for Nix to take on.

Notre Dame faces Michigan, Michigan State and Oklahoma in the first half of the season. All of those schools have quality offensive lines with Sooners guard/center Gabe Ikard maybe the best test in the early going.

The second half of the season features a few weak opponents like Air Force and Navy. USC has talent and could be better than expected. The regular-season finale against Stanford should be the Notre Dame's toughest game and the best offensive line that Nix will play against. He was solid in the battle against the Cardinal in 2-12, but Stanford will have an improved guard presence after moving David Yankey inside from left tackle. If Nix and Yankey go against each other, it would be a great barometer heading into the months of draft evaluations.

Considering the manageable slate of opponents, there is no reason to think that Nix will have a down senior year = assuming he stays healthy.

Skill-Set Summary: There is a lot for NFL scouts to like about Nix. He has a rare combination of size, power, quickness and athletic ability. There are few defensive tackle prospects who have Nix's movement skills at his size. While the senior is a heavy tackle, he isn't slow. Nix has a quick burst off the snap and is surprisingly agile for such a big lineman.

Nix is a superb run-defender. He is nearly impossible to move at the point of attack and always seems to fill his gap. Nix does a great job of stuffing holes and eating up blockers to free up his linebackers. He isn't just a plugger either; he has the power and burst to explode through the line to stuff the running back for a loss or no gain. Many times, Nix has barreled through the line and to blow up the play. He plays with good pad level that makes it really hard to run at him.

While Nix isn't a threat to put up a huge sack total, he isn't a lackluster pass-rusher; he puts more pressure on the quarterback than the numbers indicate. Nix has a huge bull rush to collapse the pocket. He also has some quickness to try and fire by slower offensive linemen.

Nix probably won't ever have big sack totals in the NFL like Warren Sapp or Geno Atkins, but Nix could contribute to the pass rush by getting a push down the middle to prevent quarterbacks from having the room to step up in the pocket. Just like he has at Notre Dame, he could easily set up his defensive ends for a lot of sacks.

One area that Nix could stand to improve for the NFL is his conditioning. He'll need to be in good shape to remain effective while handling a large snap count over four quarters.

For the pros, Nix would be a phenomenal fit as a nose tackle in a 3-4 defense. Good ones are tough to find, but Nix's explosive burst off the snap with his girth make him a perfect fit as a zero-technique lined up over the center. In a 4-3 defense, Nix would be a nose tackle who stuffs the run and eats up double-teams.

2014 NFL Draft Expectations: It currently looks like Nix made a very wise decision to return to South Bend for his senior season. The 2013 draft class was very strong at defensive tackle and that caused some of the top players like Star Lotulelei, Sharrif Floyd and Kawann Short to fall lower than expected. Nix probably would have gotten pushed down in that group as well.

Right now, Nix is in the running to be the top defensive tackle in the 2014 draft class. Depending on the teams selecting, and the schemes they need to fit, Nix could be the first tackle selected in the 2014 NFL Draft. If the senior has a big year, he could go in the top half of the first round.

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I usually start building my watch list for the draft as soon as college football starts. Nix would great. I also am following Ra'Shede Hageman of Minnesota and DaQuan Jones of Penn St., both DTs. I would prefer DE's like Chris Smith - Arkansas, Za'Darius Smith - Kentucky, James Gayle - Virginia Tech, or Standford's Trent Murphy. Those are the guys i'm watching at this early point in the football season.

Edited by isproab
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TD will draft a WR. Skill positions are more valuable in his eyes, than trench guys.

He will say that our offense stalled because Roddy wasn't 100%. Thus we need a top WR.

if Sammy Watkins was sitting there at our spot without having to trade up, would you nab him. He's an upgrade over HD and will replace roddy once he's gone.
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if Sammy Watkins was sitting there at our spot without having to trade up, would you nab him. He's an upgrade over HD and will replace roddy once he's gone.

That's a tough one. It all depends on the available DL and OL players at our spot. Ill take a top rated OL or DL player over Watkins.

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I like Nix but I'm with ATown, Hageman has been my guy since about August. He's one mean SOB. Already been in a bar fight so we won't be touching him unfortunately. This time next year, we all will be asking ourselves "Why did we not take him again?"

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