2021 NFL Draft Profile #15: Daivyon Nixon | Iowa Defensive Tackle

Daivyon aligns at Defensive Tackle for the Iowa Hawkeyes. #54 on the field, he's listed at 6'3, 305lbs and is a Redshirt Junior.


- Shows great flashes of pass rush skill - good rip move with stellar bend for a DT

- Powerful hands that help him win at the point of attack

- Athleticism translates to shooting gaps, winning vs reach blocks, and a highlight interception

- Holds double teams with good pad level and wide base

- Great football IQ - understanding of where the play is going

- Often gets his hands in the passing lanes and makes it tougher for QBs

I think Daivyon didn't get enough pass rush opportunities as a 3-tech, for Iowa. But when he dealt with 1-on-1 blocks, he shined, which is a very valuable skill at the next level. Here (#54) he punches the RG in the chest, grabs the jersey and tosses him aside. Those strong hands can be a legit weapon in the run and pass game.

Here we see Nixon win quickly with a rip move. What's really impressive is how he's able to flip his hips and bend towards the QB, while fighting off the guard. He even has a slight dip like an EDGE rusher. He needs more of these opportunities going forward.

He's very stout in the run game. His work vs doubles is admirable, and likely the reason why he played so much 1-tech. As a NT here, shaded to the right of the Center, he takes on the double and doesn't move an inch. He remains low throughout the entire play, stabbing his feet into the ground and not allowing any push. Making it easier on his teammates to make the play.

While I'm a bit concerned about his arm length hurting him at the next level, you can see how devastating it can be if he gets the jump on an IOL. He strikes the Center in the chest, immediately. Extending his arms he pushes the Center backwards. Running his feet laterally, he keeps his eyes on the RB and sheds the block to make the tackle. Hell of a play Daviyon!


- Bit smaller for a 1-tech at the next level from a height, weight and length perspective

- Too many reps where he was content with just taking on his block, but not shedding it

- Not a huge weakness but only one year of great production, not confident he'd start day one

Round Projection

The Draft Network: Second Round

Pro Football Network: Third Round

Texans Unfiltered: Late Second Round

Fit with the Houston Texans

Daviyon is one of the four DTs (Wilson, Davis, Twyman) I'd be happy with the Texans taking in the third, should he be there. He has a high floor because of his run defense, but also a relatively high ceiling because of his athleticism and flashes of pass rush skills. I think his best fit at the next level is as a 3-tech in a 4-3, or a 4i in a 3-4. He can one gap and penetrate, or two gap and stack and shed. We need help in the trenches and could do a lot worse than Daviyon.

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