Bo Nix Draft Profile
Oregon Quarterback, Bo Nix has more starts than any other quarterback in NCAA history. Standing at 6’2 220 lbs., Nix has average size for an NFL quarterback; his body type causes no limitations to his on-field performance. Prior to his time at the University of Oregon, Nix started as a true freshman for the Auburn Tigers. In his first game collegiately, he led a fourth quarter come back against a Justin Herbert-led Oregon team. It was the start of an improbable season for Nix under offensive coordinator Kenny Dillingham. Following an Iron Bowl victory against a fifth ranked Alabama team, Dillingham left Auburn to join Mike Norvell at Florida State. After Dillingham’s departure, Nix struggled to find his footing at Auburn again. In 2020 and 2021, Nix won just 12 games collectively and decided to hit the transfer portal following his junior season. In 2022, Nix reunited with Dillingham at the University of Oregon and began to re-write his story. Now in his final collegiate season, Nix is the Heisman favorite, playing at a historic level, and in the position to potentially take the Ducks to the college football playoffs.
Physically speaking, Nix is a good athlete capable of creating with his legs. What do I mean by this? Nix isn’t going to overwhelm any defense as a runner, but still poses a threat to pull it on options and pickup first downs with his legs. While he is capable of extending plays and running for first downs, he doesn’t have the breakaway speed of Kyler Murray or Lamar Jackson. However, he creates opportunities by extending plays outside of the pocket and giving his receivers time to get open downfield outside of the play structure.
Mechanically speaking, Nix has a longer motion but does a good job using shoulder turn to generate velocity towards the middle of the field. He has good arm strength and has demonstrated the ability to change his arm angles if he has some type of interior or outside pressure. Accuracy-wise, he is capable of making tight window throws and layering passes with touch. The area that has the greatest room for improvement is his base. While he excels at throwing on the run, he does a poor job at resetting his base outside of the pocket. Being able to throw without your feet requires tremendous core strength and shoulder turn which Nix possesses. However, being able to get both feet in the ground and firing outside of the pocket is necessary to make tight window throws at the next level. In college, the wider hashes create more space on the field and bigger windows downfield. In the NFL, the windows aren’t as large and close much faster. Speeding up his set up time to deliver with velocity will help Nix translate his abilities outside the pocket to the NFL level.
I try my best not to speak in hyperbole, but I have never seen a collegiate quarterback operate an offense as precisely as Nix has been doing in 2023. Nix’s experience is apparent; his pre-snap recognition is amongst the best I have seen at a college level. The command that Nix has over Oregon’s offense is palpable; whether he is checking plays at the line of scrimmage or getting the ball out with perfect timing it seems like Nix has an answer for any problem that may arise. Against pressure, Nix has the athleticism to escape the pocket, but he does have a negative tendency of fading away. While he fades away, he still seems composed with his eyes downfield, especially during critical moments. He has shown a willingness to lower his shoulder and put his body on the line on third and fourth down, but has a reasonable measure for when it is necessary.
When it comes to decision making, Nix rarely puts the ball in harms way or takes sacks. He is extremely accurate and intentional with his ball placement. While Nix does a great job operating within the structure of his offense, he is extremely quick to take what is given to him. Rather than waiting for plays to develop, if Nix sees an open target he is going to take it, but it leaves food on the plate. There were a few plays in every game that I watched where if he waited a second longer an explosive play would have been there. I imagine this comes with coaching, but having the awareness to see a play through and be aggressive is what separated Brock Purdy from Jimmy Garoppolo.
I would love to see Nix end up in a spot with an Andy Reid disciple that is focused on spacing, run-pass options, and third level throws. I would say more than anything, having a quarterback coach who has played the position would be beneficial for Nix. He reminds me a lot of Baker Mayfield from an accuracy, athletic, and leadership standpoint. Mayfield was a guy who played at a high level in his rookie season, and I believe Nix will also be able to play from day one due to how experienced he is. I think he is slightly more athletic, and level-headed than Mayfield, but his base isn’t as consistent. Throughout his career, Nix will receive doubt because he doesn’t have the rare athletic traits that a guy like Patrick Mahomes or Jalen Hurts has, but I believe Nix will be in that tier of dependable quarterbacks who are great decision makers and put their teams in a position to win.
With a guy like Nix, what stands out to me is his experience and improvement. He has been through it all, whether it is being the promising freshman quarterback in the SEC or the disappointing star on the brink of riding the bench. Now in his fifth collegiate season, Nix is playing his best ball. Looking at where Nix started compared to where he is now shows that he is coachable, able to hold himself accountable, and able to be the face of a franchise (or in this case college).
Natural Arm Talent: 8/12 (Good)
Accuracy: 7.78/10 (Very Good)
Natural Leadership: 8.89/10 (Excellent)
Decision Making + Eyes + Anticipation: 10/10 (Rare)
Pocket Presence: 4.44/8 (Above Average)
Athleticism + Mobility: 5.33/8 (Good)
Deep Ball: 3.33/6 (Above Average)
Feet + Base: 2.67/6 (Average)
Throwing Motion: 3.33/6 (Above Average)
Toughness + Fearlessness: 4.67/6 (Very Good)
Overall: 58.44/82 (.7126)
Final Rating: Good NFL QB
Pro Comparison: Baker Mayfield with worse feet, but a calmer head
Draft Projection: Top 10 Pick
Draft Grade: Top 10 Player
Scheme Fits: Heavy RPO, spacing — Andy Reid Scheme