Xavier Nixon Scouting Report

March 21st, 2013

Xavier Nixon has some talent but needs consistency

QB / RB / FB / WR / TE / OT / OG / OC / DT / DE / OLB / ILB / CB / SAF
Prospect: Xavier Nixon, OT, Florida
Height: 6’5 ½ “
Weight: 321 lbs
Grade: 6.84 (Grading Scale)

Scouting Report:

+Fluid and flexible body type, plays with proper knee bend and can stay balanced
+Thick frame throughout with good weight distribution, textbook height/weight combination
+/-Carries weight well enough to be effective as an open field blocker, stamina issues show up in some games though
+Quick first step off the ball to either get depth in pass protection or downfield quickly as a run blocker
-Foot quickness not always up to the speed of his upper body movements, heavy feet hold back movement ability in general
+Dominant power generated from his arms and hands, jolts defenders with punches

+High experience level with 33 career starts at Florida including time at left and right tackle
+Very prevalent nastiness to him in the running game, plays with a bully’s mentality
-Not always a to-the-whistle player, will quit early on plays occasionally when he sees fit, got burned doing so a few times
-Worrying tendency to give up his inside gap, has mental lapses too often responsibility-wise

Pass Blocking:
+Incredibly stout anchor, absorbs initial power rush attempts and resets his feet with ease
+Keeps his base while taking punches from pass rushers gives repeated blows right back
+Rarely beaten around the corner, can get depth quickly in his kickslide
-Has a tendency to overset and expose his inside gap to speed rushers, doesn’t have nimble enough feet to redirect and close it off
-Drops his eyes and misses blitzing linebackers that delay their rushes
+Has a natural feel for multiple rushers around him and is decisive giving help

Run Blocking:
-Too often settles for giving a strong initial punch before recoiling instead of locking on and driving his legs, allows defenders to shed more easily
-Will lunge into contact occasionally, part of aim to win on initial contact instead of driving through defenders
+Finishes blocks well by driving defenders into the ground, doesn’t settle often
-Does a relatively poor job in goal line or short yardage situations, will stop his feet after first contact
+Adept pulling out into space, keeps his head on a swivel, stays patient, runs to precise spots

-Gets hurried occasionally and gets sloppy with his footwork, even tripped himself up crossing his feet at times
-Lets his base get too narrow at times, struggles to sustain blocks as a result
+/-Inconsistent hand placement, has upper body strength to control defenders at the point of attack if he can land his hands properly
+Very heavy and active hands, doesn’t lose hand battles often and can keep his frame clean
+Drops his pads naturally and consistently plays with great pad leverage both as a run and pass blocker

Xavier Nixon is really up-and-down from snap to snap and game to game. His biggest issues are consistency and technique, which is easy to spot with him. Even so, he put in pretty good performances against the likes of Jadeveon Clowney, Damontre Moore, Jarvis Jones, and Tank Carradine as a senior. Nixon is the type of tackle who strings together a few drives of spotless play before a mental lapse sees him let a pass rusher comes almost unblocked for a sack. He has almost everything you can ask for physically from an offensive tackle though. His size and strength are more than adequate and his feet are efficient enough for the job. His game just needs some polish and further development. Nixon missed two games due to injury as a senior and didn’t work out at the combine, so there are health concerns to take note of. Teams shouldn’t and surely won’t expect him to come in and contribute as a starter on day one. Nixon will benefit from time behind some veteran pass blockers to develop his technique and refine his skills. The potential for him is sky high, and if he ever puts it together he has the skills to be one of the league’s best bookend tackles. Nixon’s deficiencies are impossible to overlook as a draft prospect though, which will likely see him pushed out of the third and into the fourth round.—Darren Page

Scouting Notes:

Florida vs. Georgia
• Shoots his hands too narrow on a down block and allows the tackle to spin off his block too easily as a result
• Picks his way through traffic and gets all the way across the center on a draw to pin a backside linebacker
• Gives up his inside gap to Jarvis Jones on a QB draw after missing with hand placement and losing gap leverage
• Quick to set up and negate Jones’ speed rush and absorbs his initial punch without losing ground
• Meets Cornelius Washington quickly on the edge with a burst out of his stance and locks him up by shooting his hands into the rusher’s chest
• Lunges into a block at the second level and gets tossed aside by the linebacker, put his head down as well
• Seems to be laboring through a lower body injury, quitting on some plays early
• Passes off Jarvis Jones and sets up inside for the outside stunt coming from John Jenkins, keeps feet moving well
• Shows athleticism pulling around the corner and pins a linebacker to the inside without cutting him
• Has Jarvis Jones stopped on the edge but stops mirroring him because he thinks the ball should be out, Jones bends by him to sack the scrambling Driskel
• Overextends in his kickslide and lets Jones right through his inside gap, caught long-striding

Florida vs. Texas A&M
• Gets into the chest of the end and roots him to the outside when he wants to go that way on an off tackle play his way, gives a parting shot to a cornerback at the end of the play
• Anchors well against Damontre Moore and fans him out around when he tries to dip around the corner
• Tries to pancake a linebacker at the second level, gives him a good shot on initial contact but he bounces off and makes the tackle as a result
• Quits too early after rerouting Moore into the interior, Driskel takes off and Moore redirects to make the sack, Nixon could have sustained the block
• Loses his footing trying to pick up a defensive tackle on a stunt who drags down Driskel for a sack
• Loses his balance and falls down trying to get to the second level on a combo block
• Quick to redirect to the outside to help out a running back one on one with a blitzing linebacker when his inside threat is contained by the guard
• Gets underneath the pads of a linebacker on a draw and drives his legs until he finishes the block with a pancake
• Quick out of his stance and makes up the ground on Moore who timed up the snap well, stops his feet and quits on the play before Driskel scrambles back his way into a Moore sack
• Gives an extra effort block peeling back on a pursuing defensive end when Driskel scrambles
• Quick to an outside linebacker blitz, puts his foot in the ground and redirects back to the inside when the rusher breaks to his inside gap

Florida vs. South Carolina
• Maintains balance and footwork absorbing powerful punches from Jadeveon Clowney on a goal line play action pass
• Doesn’t locate DeVonte Holloman coming on a delayed blitz through his inside gap and stays engaged with Clowney, leads to an easy sack
• Overextends to the outside and gives Clowney way too much room to the inside, which he exploits and blows past Nixon before sacking Driskel
• Lunges into a block on Clowney and whiffs to the outside of him, losing gap leverage on an inside run
• Moves over to the right side in an off balance formation, makes a strong down block to seal the inside of a hole for Mike Gillislee
• Competing well with Clowney in the running game, giving him repeated blows to the chest and walling him off of plays well
• Pulls around to lead up the hole on a Trey Burton power, hits the linebacker square and drives him back on initial contact
• Shows impressive foot quickness to mirror Clowney who tries to drive on Nixon’s inside shoulder before dipping back around the corner to no avail
• Runs past a linebacker to get to a safety at the second level, the first linebacker ends up making the tackle in the hole

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