Size - 6’2 331 Pounds. Nix is a huge man in the middle of the defensive line and can clog up holes with ease as a result. His size would lead to him being best suited for 0 tech and 1 tech.
Athleticism - For a man his size, Nix has very nice short area quickness and displays a really surprising burst. Nix uses this to move down the LOS and track down ball carriers; this is one of his most beneficial characteristics. Most present his RS Freshman, and RS Sophomore years (2011 and 2012) Nix displayed explosiveness off the line and this burst more often and to a more obvious degree...in 2013, as a RS Junior, it was less evident. Nix was struggling with an injury, but is of note that he looked significantly less quick off the line. A team drafting Nix will have to examine the injury, and use it to determine if it was the cause for his “shaky” 2013.
As a whole, Nix is a superb run stopper with high potential...if he can discontinue the use of his bad habits and get back to his pre-injury self, he’ll be one of the leagues most elite run stoppers on the defensive line. I expect him to immediately step in and clog the interior line very well.
Pass Game - Nix was a very solid collegiate pass rusher, and he brings some intriguing tools to the table for the next level. For a 331 pounds DT he moves very well and shoots well. A guy like Nix isn’t going to be expected to be a huge contributor in pass rushing, but Nix actually can be a factor. Nix is extremely adept at shedding blocks and pursuing the QB.
Nix will never be a guy who will eclipse more than 6 sacks in a season, but I think he can cause enough disruption on the interior to keep in on passing downs. He’ll be very solid, but never a spectacular sack specialist or anything. There’s value in what Nix can do in the pass game.
Overall - Nix is a player that you must think of what he can become, not what he is now or what he is was before. He’s a player that projects very well to the NFL with a lot of translatable skills, so I believe he’ll be a very successful pro. For the team taking him they must check out the knee and make sure it’s not long term (which it doesn’t look to be) and hope he can get back to his 2012 self. Projecting him to the NFL isn’t easy after his performance this year compared to the year before, but all things considered, he’s a 1st Round player that i’d feel comfortable taking right around the 20 mark.
Fit with STL - Louis Nix could potentially fit with the defense but there’s better options at different stages in the draft. He essentially brings what Brockers does to the table without much more. They’d be better off going elsewhere, unless the value presents itself later than where he’s expected to go. I wouldn’t be for the pick at 13, but if by some circumstance he was there at pick 43, the value was be so good i’d jump.