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NFL Draft

2021 NFL Draft Scouting Report: WR Tre Nixon

  • The Draft Network
  • January 30, 2021
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PROSPECT SUMMARY - TRE NIXON

Tre Nixon began his college career at Ole Miss where he redshirted in 2016 and caught one pass in 2017 before transferring to UCF. The Ole Miss wide receiver room was incredibly crowded and Nixon had a much clearer path to a role at UCF. He had a decent season in 2018 and played his best in 2019, where he caught 49 passes for 830 yards with seven touchdowns. In 2020, Nixon dealt with a shoulder injury that was a factor for most of the season and limited the amount of games he was available for. The best part of Nixon’s game is his speed. He has the ability to take the top off the defense and win down the field. His collegiate success was predicated on vertical push that created the opportunity for him to get behind the secondary or snap off routes to get open underneath. With that said, he has inconsistent hands and isn’t always clean with his tracking down the field. He ran a very limited route tree at UCF, so there is a considerable curve ahead for him to expand the routes he can run. Nixon is a competitive player but struggles when contact is introduced and he has to be physical. And for a player with his speed, I expected more dynamic skill after the catch. For a team in search of a guy that can stretch the field, Nixon can be that answer, but the rest of his game has to be developed. 

Ideal Role: Field-stretching receiver.

Scheme Fit: Vertical passing game.

FILM EVALUATION

Written by: Joe Marino 

Games watched: Pittsburgh (2019), Marshall (2019), Cincinnati (2019), Tulane (2019) 

Best Game Studied: Pittsburgh (2019) 

Worst Game Studied: Tulane (2019) 

Route Running: Nixon has terrific vertical speed that is a major asset to him in the UCF offense. While he ran an extremely limited route tree, his ability to get open deep enabled him to quickly snap off route stems and work back to the football. With that said, he will need to expand his route tree and develop more technique in his routes at the next level. He’s crisp and sudden, he just has to add the deceptive layer to the equation in addition to running more routes. 

Hands: Nixon has some impressive grabs on film where he snatches it outside of his body with firm hands. With that said, there are plenty of double catches and he isn’t immune to drops. He was charged with 16 drops on 205 career targets.  

Separation: Nixon’s speed is such an asset to him as a separator because he can run away from coverage. With that said, he will need to become a more technically-refined route-runner to achieve the same separation in the NFL as he enjoyed in college. When he opens his stride, he’s tough to catch. 

Run After Catch: I expected more from Nixon in this department given his speed and acceleration. He isn’t overly creative or dynamic with the ball in his hands—his RAC mostly comes down to how many yards he can gain before he’s challenged by a tackler. He’s not a consistent tackle-breaker or threat to make guys miss in space. 

Ball Skills: Nixon makes some impressive plays down the field where his tracking and ability to adjust to the football appear excellent. With that said, he has some moments where he misplays the ball down the field. He isn’t much of a threat in contested situations. 

Football IQ: Nixon has plenty of room to grow when it comes to route-running technique and expanding his route tree. He was asked to run nine routes and hitches in college and not much else. For the most part, he has good awareness and doesn’t appear calculated.  

Release Package: Nixon does a good job of varying his release. He has plenty of different hand swipes, jab steps, and body fakes at his disposal to help clear jams. He is capable of executing aggressive angles at the line of scrimmage and it’s dangerous for corners to be overly aggressive with him in press coverage. 

Versatility: Nixon is an exciting vertical threat, but his modest post-catch ability is disappointing. He has some appeal in the slot but didn’t get many opportunities to play there. Nixon almost exclusively lined up on the right side of the formation. 

Competitive Toughness: While the results are not consistent, Nixon is a willing and competitive blocker. There are times Nixon is clearly running a decoy route and his enthusiasm in those moments wavers. He is much more of a finesse player than a physical one. 

Big-Play Ability: Nixon has vertical speed that puts a lot of stress on the secondary to account for him down the field. He hasn’t been given opportunities in the return game and hasn’t been productive creating after the catch. 

Prospect Comparison: Stacy Coley (2017 NFL Draft, Minnesota Vikings) 

SCOUT GRADES

TDN Consensus: To Be Determined

Joe Marino: 66/100

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