Louis Nix III (Junior), DT Notre Dame
HGT: 6-3 WGT: 326
There are normally 1-2 Special players in a programs every year, but it almost seems that this year’s Notre Dame team has a special player in each position group and Defensive Line is no exception. Junior Defensive Tackle Louis Nix has garnished a lot of attention from not only opposing offenses but also from a ton of NFL teams. The things that Nix brings to a defense can not be tracked statically, but once you turn on the film you see the impact Nix makes through out the course of a game.
Nix has good size (6-3, 326) and plays with a great motor for a guy of his size and shows relentless effort in his pursuit to the ball. Nix possesses a quick first step which makes it hard for offensive linemen to gain ground on him. Nix does a great job delivering a violent blow with his hands. In one-on-one situations, Nix has proved to be virtually unblock-able. Nix does a good job taking on and splitting the double team. When Zone comes to him, Nix does a good job attacking his visual key’s up-field shoulder, getting push and penetration, which knocks the running back off his path. Although he is not a great pass rusher, because of his quick 1st step and hands, Nix generates a serviceable pass-rush that pushes the pocket.
Nix needs to improve playing consistently with good pad level. There are times when after his initial first few steps blockers are able to recover and get underneath Nix’s pads and drive him off the point of attack. Nix also needs to improve on squeezing and “wiping” the down block, Nix often tries to run around them instead of squeezing them back to collapse the hole. Because Nix is an average pass-rusher, it has limited him to only play on run downs. Nix is on the ground more than you would like to see him, needs to improve balance and core strength. Needs to work on over-all hand placement along with getting extension and disengaging blocks.
As an underclassman, Louis Nix is one of the best Defensive Tackles in the 2013 NFL Draft. With Nix’s size, skill-set and the fact that he is very stingy when it comes to being moved, Nix would fit into any NFL scheme whether it be a 4-3 defense or being a true Nose Tackle in a 3-4 defense. I don’t often compare prospects to other players, but Nix reminds me of Green Bay Packers Nose Tackle B.J. Raji and if Nix comes anywhere close to the type of player I think his potential shows he is capable of, there is a NFL team out there that will have a true gem.