Bo Nix is one of the more polarizing players in the 2023 NFL Draft

Oregon's Bo Nix works out with the Ducks as they return after Spring Break.Uo Football
Oregon's Bo Nix works out with the Ducks as they return after Spring Break.Uo Football /

One of the most intriguing quarterbacks in the 2023 NFL Draft class is Bo Nix. Nix came out of Pinson Valley High School, where he was named Alabama’s Mr. Football after throwing for over 12,000 yards and 161 touchdowns. His outstanding high school career allowed him to be ranked as a five-star recruit and the 29th overall player in the 2019 class. After his high school playing days, Nix chose to attend Auburn University picking them over other schools that showed strong interest including Alabama, Clemson, and Florida.

As a freshman at Auburn, Bo Nix became the first true freshman QB to start a season opener for the Tigers since 1946. He showed outstanding promise that season and was named SEC’s 2019 Freshman of the Year. However, the following season he took a step back as he saw his touchdown total drop and the number of interceptions he threw rise. While he did have a better 2021 season he did see his share of struggles that season as well. One of these struggles included being benched for T.J. Finley in the Georgia game and another one was suffering a season-ending injury vs. Mississippi State.

After an up and down career at Auburn, Bo Nix decided to transfer to Oregon this offseason. One of the main reasons he decided to transfer to Oregon was so that he could reunite with Offensive Coordinator and Quarterback Coach Kenny Dillingham. Dillingham coached Nix in 2019 when he won SEC Freshman of the Year and had the best overall season of his college career.

Going into the fall Nix is competing with Ty Thompson and Jay Butterfield for the starting quarterback job. If Nix can win this job he likely could go from someone who carries an undrafted free agent grade to a player who could hear his name called on the second day of the 2023 NFL Draft.

The first trait that stands out with Bo Nix is his athletic ability, which has led to Georgia coach Kirby Smart calling him one of the most athletic quarterbacks he has ever seen. This athletic ability is a big asset for Nix for several reasons. One of these is his ability to throw on the run.

Auburn did a good job of using Nix on sprint out passes which he excelled at showing the accuracy to hit his receivers in stride while out of the pocket and also the mobility to tuck the ball and pick up yards if his receiver was covered.

Another area where his athletic ability pays off is his ability to throw from multiple platforms. An example of this came in the LSU game where Nix scrambled evading several LSU defenders and throwing an awkward position with several people around him for a touchdown.

To go along with his ability to make plays with his feet, Bo Nix has the arm strength to take the deep shot on a regular basis. This arm strength also allows him to throw despite not having the most sound fundamentals especially when it comes to keeping a solid base. An example of this came in the Arkansas game this year where he hit a streaking receiver on a post route despite having pressure in his face.

While Bo Nix has the raw tools to play at the next level he needs to work on some things in order for a coach to feel comfortable with him leading their offense. The first one is taking what the defense gives him and not playing hero ball. On numerous occasions last year he held onto the ball too long at times which caused him to scramble and end up throwing the ball up for grabs or badly missing his receiver.

While this trait did lead to some highlight plays last year it, unfortunately, led to several negative plays as well. Nix will need to understand when it is ok to settle for a checkdown route and when to try and force something.

Another concern with Bo Nix is his overall football IQ. He has trouble at times identifying where the defensive pressure will come from and reading defensive coverages in general. This is one of the main reasons he has thrown 16 interceptions during his college career.

His overall lack of awareness also is evident at times when he is in the pocket. He tends to get happy feet if his receiver doesn’t come open right away which causes him to throw off balance and miss wide-open throws.

When projecting Bo Nix to the NFL he will need to go to the right system where his skill set can be used properly. One team who could make sense is the Miami Dolphins. Nix would fit well in Mike McDaniel offense since it loves to get the quarterback outside of the pocket and can limit the amount of full-field reads the quarterback needs to make. The Dolphins could also be in the quarterback market next year if Tua Tagovailoa doesn’t show the promise that made him the fifth overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.