In the 2014 NFL draft, it is clear that Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and Calvin Pryor will be the first safeties chosen in the draft. The safety class is top-heavy this year, but it is yet to be determined what safety will be picked after Clinton-Dix and Pryor.
Coming off his senior season on an overlooked defense, Dixon had an excellent year for the Baylor Bears. Let's take a look at eDraft's official scouting report for the prospect.
|Solo Tackles ||Assisted Tackles ||Interceptions |
|53 ||28 ||1 |
Great ball skills: Dixon has excellent coverage skills. Dixon is able to not let anyone past him, even though he is watching the ball. When you watch tape on Dixon, it is clear that he can make consistent plays on the football. This is just one of many traits that a free safety must have to be a good one at the next level.
Range/Tackling ability: You will rarely see Dixon miss a tackle. Dixon ran a 4.45 40-yard dash, so it easy to see why he can make a tackler all over the field. When you have a safety that plays with a lot of range, it really makes it easier on your defensive linemen to get pressure on the quarterback.
Versatility: In today's league, some players convert from a linebacker to a safety, or vice-versa. In the NFL, Dixon has the tools to become a better safety than a linebacker. In his first three years at Baylor, Dixon played the free safety position. In his senior season, Dixon played the linebacker position. As of now, he looks like a safety at the next level. But, a team will keep his versatility in the back of their mind when they draft him.
Coverage: While Dixon can play center field really well, his ability to cover one-on-one is not the best. Dixon needs to improve his recognition in man coverage. While he has the ability to make plays all over the field, his biggest weakness can be magnified if he does not get better at covering opposing receivers.
Weight: NFL scouts will love Dixon's lightning fast speed, but his weight is another concern. Putting on around 10 pounds would really benefit Dixon. Beefing up a bit will also improve his draft stock. Free safeties tend to weigh less than strong safeties, but Dixon is right in the middle between both.
Off-the-field concerns: While it may be just a one-time thing, Dixon was arrested and charged with a misdemeanor assault in September. In the NFL, the last thing an NFL team wants to see is a player being arrested all the time. Again, even though it could have been just a one-time thing, it will still be on some general manger's mind on draft day.
Reshad Jones, Miami Dolphins: Reshad Jones is one of my favorite players in the league. Although he is a bit short, Jones can make plays all over the gridiron. In fact, Jones is similar to Dixon. Versatility is the main thing these safeties both have. Jones has made a niche as an underrated safety in Miami. Expect Dixon to make a similar impact like Jones.
Dixon is a good prospect to target in the second or third round. He has very good speed and he can make plays all across the field. Dixon's first year could be a project as he is still not quite polished. But, there is no denying his ability to become a quality NFL starter. With some weight added to his frame, Dixon will see his draft stock rise.
One intriguing fit could be the Dallas Cowboys. It is no surprise that the Cowboys are in the market for a safety after watching the likes of Jeff Heath and J.J. Wilcox play free safety. Wilcox was drafted in the third round in 2012. But, it is clear that his future in Dallas does not look so good.
Other possible fits include the Philadelphia Eagles, New York Jets, and the Denver Broncos.
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