Coverage Spacing -Doesn't show a great level or spring or burst, instead he's smooth but non-spectacular in his transitions and drive to the football. Will struggle to stay tight on the hip of big receivers due to lack of functional strength. Not a lot of upside here.
Acceleration -Burst and initial step quickness are pretty average. He has good enough long speed but his back-end range shouldn't warrant consideration as a true single high option on top of the play. His explosiveness won't allow him to close space suddenly from off ball.
Tackling -Carries his weight extremely well and though his tackle radius is suboptimal (given his wingspan) he does well to cut down ball carriers in open space. Knows how to slide down ball carriers at the thighs. Not afraid to go low but shows good wrap up awareness to get a leg.
Zone Coverage Skills -Lack of explosiveness, wingspan and general conservative nature make it difficult for him to get in on the action and stay involved in plays. His anticipation on vertical shots is probably where you see his reactiveness best.
Ball Skills -Small catch radius and ability to high point footballs. Is scrappy when arriving with the football to attack through the hands of receivers and is attentive to the little things in an effort to make plays at the catch point.
Competitive Toughness -Love his effort level. He's always seen buzzing down into the box looking to make a muck of a hole. His functional play strength and power are below average, however...he doesn't play with the ability to dictate space to opponents.
Flexibility -Hips are pretty fluid, I like his hinges and ability to flip open to carry himself with a vertical route stem. Lower body mobility does allow for bucket steps and hard collection of his momentum. Plays with good leverage when facing contact.
Feet/Change of Direction -Hops through some of his transitions and as a result can be late to react. His feet are smooth when he's opening himself to the boundary to get width and shows a pretty clean pedal to stay leveraged over top of a receiver.
Man Coverage Skills -Shouldn't be trusted with playing a high volume of man to man, at least without safety help behind him to keep things in check. Turn and run skills are okay but he's going to labor staying attached to the hip of receivers down the field.
Versatility -Was used all over the field, back-end work, from the slot and as a blitzer. Not sure he's well suited to a full time role in any of those areas, however. His experience and exposure will make him a valuable depth piece, however.
BEST TRAIT - Tackling
WORST TRAIT - Man Coverage Skills
BEST FILM - Northwestern (2018)
WORST FILM - Penn State (2018)
RED FLAGS - None
D'Cota Dixon projects best as a core special teams player in the NFL. Dixon lacks the turn and run skills and functional strength to stay attached to receivers in man to man coverage and also fails to show reactionary quickness needed to be an ace in zone coverage. But Dixon brings a great level of effort, sound tackling techniques and fearless approach running into the box that should offer him success at the NFL level as a player primarily featured as defensive depth and ST reps.