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Trenchmen’s Corner| Daviyon Nixon Scouting Report | Former CFL scout Dave Van Nett breaks down his game

Daviyon Nixon Iowa Scouting Repot
Iowa defensive tackle Daviyon Nixon is a very talented prospect, and Dave Van Nett the former CFL scout breaks down his film.

Daviyon Nixon – Iowa     

  • High School – Indian Trail
  • Hometown –Kenosha, Wisconsin
  • Parents – Chwanda & Rodney Nixon – 3 siblings
  • JUCO –  Iowa Western CC
  • Jersey – 54
  • Position –3-Tech Defensive Tackle
  • Height – 6’4
  • Weight – 305

Career Stats:

  • Games Played – 33 
  • Solo Tackles – 63
  • Asst. Tackles –55
  • TFL Yards – 91
  • Sacks – 11.5
  • Sack yards – 55
  • Pass Defend – 3
  • Forced Fumbles – 1
  • Fumble Recovery – 0
  • Interceptions – 1 for 71 yrds
  • Touchdowns- 1

Overview:

     This All American Big 10 Defensive Player of the Year comes from humble and at times difficult beginnings.  Born and raised in North Chicago, Daviyon was in a co-parenting situation with his family.  Early in life his parents divorced but did their best to co-parent.  Throughout his childhood and teenage years he moved around to Kenosha Wisconsin then to Georgia and then back to Kenosha.  Late in his high school career, he was diagnosed with a learning disability.  His coaches and teachers learned how to how to help him and then taught him how to learn going forward.  Daviyon received offers from both Purdue and Iowa.  He committed to Iowa but his grades weren’t high enough to start with them.  The coaches at Iowa helped him get into Iowa Western C.C. in order to adjust to college-level classes and get his grades up.  Following the 2017-18 school year Daviyon received full scholarship offers from Alabama and Iowa.  He decided to honor his commitment to Iowa.  Iowa redshirted Daviyon his freshman year, 2018, to build his confidence on and off the field.  

     In his sophomore year, Daviyon saw action in all 13 games, with one start. He recorded 29 tackles, including 19 solo stops and 10 assists, with 5.5 tackles for loss and three sacks, along with five pressures and one pass break-up.  He also was named defensive player of the week by CollegeSportsMadness.com for his play in 20-0 win at Northwestern.

     Daviyon’s junior year is where he made the biggest improvement.  Daviyon started in all eight games at defensive tackle.  He recorded 45 tackles, with 22 solo stops and 23 assists. His totals include 13.5 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks, with one forced fumble and one pass break-up. Daviyon’s junior season was topped off with one interception, with 71-yard touchdown return at Penn State.  Daviyon’s junior year was capped off with a list of accolades from the Big 10, media and coaches.

2020 Honors:

     Daviyon received an unanimous Consensus All-American vote, he was one of three finalists for Outland Trophy, one of five finalists for Bronko Nagurski Award, one of 20 players named to Walter Camp Player of the Year Watch List.  He was a semifinalist for Bednarik Award, first-team All-America by Associated Press, Sporting News, FWAA, AFCA, Walter Camp, ESPN, The Athletic and Phil Steele.  Daviyon was awarded the Nagurski-Woodson Big Ten Conference Defensive Player of the Year, Smith-Brown Big Ten Conference Defensive Lineman of the Year, Big Ten Conference Defensive Player of the Year by Associated Press, first-team All-Big Ten by league coaches and media, first-team All-Big Ten by Associated Press and Phil Steele, and the preseason fourth-team All-Big Ten by Athlon Sports.

Pro Day Results:

  • 40 yrd Dash – 4.9 sec.
  • 20 yrd Shuttle – 4.7 sec.
  • Verticle – 28.5”
  • Broad Jump – 8’10”
  • 3-Cone – 7.68

    Daviyon’s pro day does not reflect his abilities on the field in my opinion.  He only put up decent numbers on his pro day.  Hopefully, NFL scouts do not put much weight into these numbers and look at his entire package to make a decision to draft him.  His overall abilities call for a late first-round or early second-round draft selection.

Assessment – 2020 film reviewed – Penn St, Wisconsin, Northwestern, and Nebraska

          Daviyon has a strong and stable stance with deep knee bend.

He is explosive 98% of the time off the snap, the other 2% looks like he is reading the offense and is purposely sitting back and reacting to the play.  There were a few times that he just reacted slowly but not enough to worry about in my opinion.

Daviyon may have a learning disability but on the field but on the field he is extremely smart and attacks with purpose, almost like he knows what is going to happen next.  This comes from dedicated time in the film room and natural instincts. 

Both his run fill and pass pro are next level.  In all of his films he kept his head up and reacted to both the run and pass aggressively and accurately.  This was 

His hand fighting skills are accurate using multiple methods of attack.  With that said he periodically will have issues with much larger offensive linemen.

He consistently plays with his head up and has full awareness of where the ball is.  

His ability to shed blocks is very good, but his ability to disengage is excellent.  Time after time he has shown that he is very aware of what is happening in the backfield and even though he may disengage from the offensive line he is able to get into the backfield and make the tackle.

He has killer instincts when tracking the ball carrier both in the tackle box and in open field.

The strongest compliment to his skills is that he demands a double team from the offensive line.  If he is not double teamed he will be involved in making the play on the ball carrier.  

Injuries – No known injuries at this time

Off-field Issues – 

     I did read in several online articles that there were unsubstantiated rumors of an altercation in the dorms, but again they are just rumors. I searched extensively through the local media in Iowa, and multiple online sporting news websites and I could not find any mention of a police report, or any social media posts regarding an altercation.  I do not fore see this being an issue but I felt that it needed to be addressed.  

Prediction:

     Daviyon Nixon has the ability to not only be a long-term player in the NFL but a multiple-time pro bowler.  All of the adversity this young man has faced he has proven that he has the strength to overcome adversity and thrive.  I believe that this young man will be a complete game-changer with any team.  I give Daviyon a B+ to A- rating and predict that he will go late in the first round or early in the second round.  I have read a couple of scouting reports talking about the fact that Daviyon only started nine games in the 2020 season, but what they fail to mention is that is all that Iowa played.  All players will have a weakness somewhere in their game but Daviyon, I believe, has acknowledged his minor weaknesses and figured out how to work around them.  This is best shown in his occasional disadvantage against bigger offensive linemen, instead of continuing to engage in a futile attempt he has shown his ability to disengage and create a better opportunity to attack the ball carrier.  This was also exemplified in his 71-yard interception to a touchdown against Penn State.  Daviyon knew he was having a difficult time with the right offensive tackle and with his game awareness he showed attack and then dropped back into short pass coverage and ended up with the pick-6.  Daviyon was chosen as the 2020 Big 10 Defensive Player of the Year for a reason, his ability to be a game-changer.  I look forward to watching him for a long time in the NFL.

About Dave:

David Van Nett is a 17-year football coach and former CFL scout.  He was hired by Head Coach Chris Jones, 4 times Grey Bowl coach, to be the area scout in the Carolinas.  David is an Army veteran and retired law enforcement officer as well. Make sure you follow him on Twitter @coach_vannett

NFL Draft Diamonds was created to assist the underdogs playing the sport. We call them diamonds in the rough. My name is Damond Talbot, I have worked extremely hard to help hundreds of small school players over the past several years, and will continue my mission. We have several contributors on this site, and if they contribute their name and contact will be in the piece above. You can email me at nfldraftdiamonds@gmail.com

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