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Purple & Gold Prospects: Bo Nix Scouting Report

Welcome to Purple & Gold Prospects!

This will be an ongoing series to get Vikings fans familiar with upcoming draft prospects. The focus of this series will be to cover prominent prospects entering the upcoming NFL Draft. The series will center on the position groups of highest need on the current Vikings roster, but will also cover stand out players across the spectrum. I hope you will join me on this continuing journey to learn more about upcoming draft classes.

With that let’s discover the possible future of your Minnesota Vikings!

Background

Height: 6020

Weight: 217 lbs.

Bo Nix was a 4-star recruit out of Pinson Valley High School in Alabama. In his high school career he accumulated over 12,000 offensive yards and 161 TDs. This earned him a bevy of offers out of high school and he eventually committed to Auburn. In his three years at Auburn he amassed 7,251 passing yards, a 39 TD-INT ratio, with a completion percentage of 59.4%. In 2022 he transferred to Oregon and exploded. His first year there he had 3,593 yards passing with 29 TDs and 7 INTs. Most impressive was his completion percentage of 77.8%. So far in 2023 he has positioned himself as one of the Heisman frontrunners and is a hot name for the upcoming 2024 NFL Draft.

Games watched: Georgia 2022, North Carolina 2022, Oregon State 2022, Utah 2022, Washington 2022

Strengths

Bo Nix is a plus athlete showing good ability to extend plays and pick up yards on the ground. He has above-average instincts as a runner showcasing good lateral agility and ability to make defenders miss in the open field. He also flashes moments of great ball placement and accuracy on the run. Nix also has moments of good pocket mobility to avoid defenders and step up into the pocket to deliver passes. He can be elusive in the pocket, using that agility and athleticism to avoid rushers or break tackles and escape. Flashes moments of poise with oncoming rushers. Nix also tends to keep his eyes downfield while extending the play instead of tucking and running early. His hips are fluid and swivel quickly to line up with the pass. He displays the ability to be a good short-game operator. Nix also possesses a nice quick and compact release. He has good upper-body mechanics. Footwork is generally good when kept clean. Nix has the ability to read the entire field and move through progressions. He doesn’t possess an elite arm but it is more than adequate for the NFL and delivers passes with good velocity.

Weaknesses

Although his footwork is fairly good when kept clean he has too many instances of happy feet that don’t plant correctly to deliver the pass. His lower body mechanics can also become a mess when his protection breaks down or he is feeling pressure when he doesn’t have confidence in that protection. This also causes him to panic far too early when he doesn’t have confidence in his OL. He has moments of bailing out on clean pockets and causing his OL to lose position and leverage. While he can read the entire field and go through progressions, far too often he will pass over open intermediate and deep routes for shorter options and checkdowns. His processing and anticipation are not currently up to NFL speed. The Oregon offense uses a lot of quick game passes relying on receivers to generate yards after the catch. When Nix was tasked with driving the ball downfield his play drops off due to his slower processing. Nix can also predetermine and telegraph reads pre-snap which can get him into trouble. He also has moments of not reading defenders shading into throwing lanes. Nix will also try to force balls into specific windows instead of throwing his receivers open or hitting them in stride. His placement on quick game passes is also inconsistent, often causing receivers to adjust instead of keeping their momentum going forward. Nix’s arm trajectory does not have much variance either, often throwing fairly low giving defenders more opportunities to bat and deflect passes. I would like to see him develop the ability to more consistently fit passes in over defenders at all levels of the field. While he does display good ability to extend plays with his legs, his accuracy and placement is inconsistent on the run or off-platform. Finally, Oregon tasked him with a number of option plays with the RB out of the backfield and he consistently tosses it to the RB early. This allows the defenders to react quicker instead of drawing them in and away from the RB or making them hesitate.

So far in 2023

Statistically, Nix is off to a great start to the 2023 college season. Through seven games he has led Oregon to a 6-1 record only falling to now number 5 ranked Washington. In those seven games he has accumulated 2089 yards passing, a 19-1 TD to INT ratio, and an extremely impressive 78.4% completion rate. However, moving forward he still needs to show great improvement in his mechanics under pressure and his processing ability. Currently, Nix does not project as viable starting QB early on in the NFL. His impressive statistics over the last season and a half might have him move up NFL team draft boards but for me he has put himself squarely in the middle of this deep QB class.

Grade

Accuracy: 11.5 / 15

Decision Making/Mental Ability: 9.5 / 15

Mechanics: 11.5 / 15

Touch/Trajectory: 11 / 15

Arm Strength: 8.2 / 10

Athleticism: 8.2 / 10

Durability: 8 / 10

Pocket Presence: 7 / 10

OVERALL: 74.9 – Late Third – Early Fourth

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