Pick 84: Ahmad Dixon, Safety
Dixon is a hard-hitting strong safety with good coverage skills he uses to lock down tight ends, particularly down the seam. He is a great athlete, and he could have a bright future in the NFL.
One area he must work on is tackling. He has a tendency to arm tackle, and also to hit high on defenseless receivers. Both can be worked on and fixed with proper tackling technique, but it could get him in trouble early.
He would not start at strong safety from Day 1, but he could be used in sub-packages in the slot to cover athletic tight ends against teams that force Cromartie to stick to their No. 2 receiver (the Lions, Falcons and Broncos come to mind).
Dixon also would contribute early on special teams. It’s where many solid NFL players get their start, and he would do well for himself to cover kicks and punts while learning how to play safety in the NFL—he was a hybrid safety and linebacker at Baylor and needs to dedicate himself as a safety to develop into who he has the potential to become.
Pick 92 (from Panthers): Jackson Jeffcoat, Defensive End/Outside Linebacker
Jeffcoat has an NFL pedigree, as his father, Jim, played 15 years in the league with the Cowboys and Bills and earned two Super Bowl rings with the former in 1992 and ’93.
The younger Jeffcoat has a bright future ahead of him as long as he can remain healthy. He withstood three major injuries in his first three seasons at the University of Texas before successfully completing his senior year with 82 total tackles, 19.0 tackles for loss and 13.0 sacks.
His Production Ratio of 1.99 over four seasons in Austin, Texas, is very good. In fact, among members of the front seven who've earned NFL Scouting Combine invites, Jeffcoat’s career Production Ratio ranked 11th.—ahead of Jadeveon Clowney, Anthony Barr and Dee Ford, to name a few.
Jeffcoat wouldn’t start as a rookie, but he’s a better natural pass-rusher than Sam Acho is. He would provide pass rush on a part-time basis while contributing on special teams and learning how to be a complete outside linebacker. Acho excels in coverage, so Jeffcoat would not need to drop into coverage much early.