Louis Nix III, DT, Notre Dame (HT: 6’2.375”, WT: 331 lbs)
Third Round: 83rd Pick
NFL Comparison: Dontari Poe, NT, Kansas City Chiefs
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- Prototypical nose tackle size, is massive at 6’2”, 331 pounds with long 33” arms.
- Demonstrates very good snap awareness, can engage quickly and catch opposing linemen off-guard. Capable of shooting the A-gap and providing immediate disruption in the backfield.
- Active with a good motor, does not give up on plays. Appears to have good endurance, played a large percentage of his team’s snaps at Notre Dame.
- Impressive play recognition, displays good instincts. Can identify a screen pass and put himself in a position to affect the play.
- Flashes some pop in his hands and displays upper-body power. Utilizes a strong punch off the snap.
- Good quickness for his size, can explode out of his stance and changes direction fairly well.
- Can control opponents with one hand and continue in pursuit, keeping his legs churning. Shows the ability to wall off blockers with his opposite arm, not allowing them to get into his body and stop his momentum.
- Beats blockers with initial quickness and brute strength. Capable of walking interior linemen back to their quarterback.
- Shows the ability to use his length to keep blockers from getting into his chest. Demonstrates active, violent hands to keep his body clean.
- Low center of gravity, can occupy blocks and allow his teammates to make plays.
- Gets his hands up into passing lanes. Reads the quarterback’s eyes and can either knock down the pass or force him to hold onto the ball.
- Generally appears to track the ball well.
- Charismatic personality, can light up a room.
- Inconsistent leverage, is stood up easily and struggles to anchor at times. Can be taken by surprise and washed out of running plays when double-teamed.
- Offers little as a pass-rusher, does not have consistent moves to enter the backfield.
- Does not have the suddenness to spin away from blocks and can be simply neutralized when he shows his back to his opponent.
- Lacks the foot speed to influence plays from sideline-to-sideline, is not able to cover much ground. Predictably, he was very average in combine athletic testing coming off knee surgery.
- Must do a better job of finishing, he struggles to break down and make the tackle.
- Does not have the versatility to play every interior defensive line position, is limited to 1-tech or 0-tech.
- Average balance, is too easily knocked off his feet and is tripped up often.
- Occasionally takes himself out of position to make a play due to aggressiveness, looks more natural at times when he is shooting gaps rather than occupying them.
- Had an up-and-down junior season when he seemed to struggle more than in a strong sophomore campaign.
- Junior season was cut short by a meniscus injury. He had been playing through pain for the entire season after initially hurting his knee against Alabama in the 2013 national championship.
- First-team All-Independent 2013
- Notre Dame Moose Krause Defensive Lineman of the Year 2012
- First-team All-Independent 2012
- First-team All-Independent 2011
- Redshirted 2010
- Film, television and theatre major in the College of Arts and Letters
While a knee injury limited him and eventually cut short his final season at Notre Dame, Louis Nix still projects as one of this class’ most intriguing interior defensive linemen and perhaps the most natural fit at nose tackle. With surprising quickness off the snap and powerful hands, he shows the ability to disrupt the rhythm of opposing offenses.
Proper coaching may be able to get him to play with more consistent leverage and help him to handle the traditional gap-occupying responsibilities of being an NFL 0-tech. Though his lack of versatility could limit his potential suitors, his natural talent is evident and will likely warrant an early pick.
Draft Projection: First or second round