As the 2014 NFL Draft continues to approach us, we will take another look at some options for the San Francisco 49ers. The next in the list of day one 49ers draft prospects is Notre Dame nose tackle Louis Nix.
Nix has the prototypical size to play the nose tackle position. He has the ability to be a two gapping, space-eating, block-occupying run stuffer. Nix was a severely disruptive player at times. He has the strength to bull rush the pocket back into the quarterback and will more than hold his own against the run.
“The knee is fantastic. I enjoy my weight. People wanted me down so I lost it. I’ve lost about 23 pounds. Now my stomach doesn’t stick out as much. I feel sexier. IF someone wants me to stay at current weight, I will stay. If they want me to get sexy, I’ve got it.”
Nix was a dominant player in 2012. He anchored the defensive line for a Notre Dame team that played in the National Championship game. His 2013 season got off to a slow start as he missed two games with a torn meniscus. The knee has healed. When he is good to go, Nix has a rare skill set for a player his size. He has very nimble feet and is a fluid athlete. Being a 340+ pound athlete that has the range to make plays up and down the line of scrimmage is what separates Nix from some of the other nose tackles. His size alone gives him natural power.
How will he help the 49ers? Nix has a big frame that will occupy gaps in the 49ers 30 front. He is a high motor player that can bull rush the offensive linemen right back into the quarterback. The 49ers could use a player that can generate an interior pass rush. This will flush the quarterback out to their edge rushers. Nix can generate the interior rush quickly by splitting gaps as he uses his quick swim move to get by the linemen.
NFL Comparison: B.J. Raji. Like Raji, Nix is a large man that is swift on his feet. Both of these players carry their weight very well. Raji was able to be very effective as an inside pass rusher over his first two year. Look for Nix to have a similar impact especially if he gets with a team that likes to uses stunts. Raji and Nix are able to use a quick get off to generate momentum that can knock blockers off balance. They can also use their strong hands to wipe the offensive linemen’s hands from their body.
6-2 331 pounds
33 inch arms
9 7/8 inch hands
5.42 40 yd dash
4.94 20 yd shuttle
25.5 inch vertical
8.01 broad jump
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