Defensive tackle Daviyon Nixon prepares for NFL Draft

Nixon was named a unanimous consensus All-American after an impressive 2020 season.

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Shivansh Ahuja

Iowa defensive tackle Daviyon Nixon tackles Nebraska’s Adrian Martinez during a football game between Iowa and Nebraska at Kinnick Stadium on Friday, Nov. 27, 2020. The Hawkeyes defeated the Cornhuskers, 26-20.

Isaac Goffin, Assistant Sports Editor


The start of defensive tackle Daviyon Nixon’s Hawkeye career was fairly uneventful.

The Kenosha, Wisconsin, native transferred to the University of Iowa from Iowa Western in Spring 2018 and redshirted during Fall 2018.

In his first full season as Hawkeye in 2019, Nixon played 13 games and accumulated three sacks.

In 2020, Nixon played in eight just games, as the Big Ten Conference didn’t start playing football until October because of COVID-19.

Despite the shortened schedule, Nixon still had his best statistical season as a Hawkeye, leading the Big Ten with 13 tackles for loss.

Nixon also recorded 5.5 sacks, an interception, and a touchdown. Nixon’s interception and touchdown came on the same play, as the 313-pound defensive lineman intercepted a pass from Penn State quarterback Sean Clifford and proceeded to return the football 71 yards to the end zone.

Nixon’s impressive 2020 campaign earned him unanimous consensus All-America honors.

“I feel like the 2020 season was really good for me,” Nixon said. “Especially for me and this organization with the numbers that I have out there. Just in-game, football wise, I really wasn’t really shooting for any numbers, just playing just to win and so if I’m able to go out in the NFL next year and produce those same numbers, probably even bigger numbers, that would be great for me.”

According to Hawkeye head coach Kirk Ferentz, the growth Nixon underwent from the moment he arrived in Iowa City in 2018 to the time he decided to go pro can’t be overstated.

“Just a really big leap,” Ferentz said. “And you see that happen with some players sometimes. That’s why you just never know if a guy’s working hard, has a good attitude, you just never know what’s going to happen or when they’re going to make that jump. There’s no guarantee they will, but in Daviyon’s case, it was this last season very clearly.”

RELATED: Iowa football notebook: 2021 pro day

Since the 2020-21 college football season concluded, Nixon has been training in Pensacola, Florida, for the NFL Draft, which is slated for April 29 to May 1 in Cleveland.

Nixon said he has been trying to get faster this offseason, without cutting weight.

At Iowa’s pro day, Nixon was officially listed at 313 pounds. He ran the 40-yard dash in 4.90 seconds and the 20-yard shuttle in 4.70.

“None of the questions I get are uncomfortable for me,” Nixon said about the long NFL interviewing process. “I answer them truthfully and just keep going. A lot of coaches have asked me a lot of things about [junior college] and how I came out this year and things like that. There’s never been a doubt in my mind about my athletic ability, about my playstyle, and how I can make a change on a team and make the team different and better.”

According to the Des Moines Register, ESPN NFL Draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. said it doesn’t look like Nixon will be a first-round pick. Kiper believes Nixon will likely be a second-round selection, and at worst, a third rounder.

“A lot of coaches are telling me film wise they need more consistency throughout my film and things like that,” Nixon said. “Other than that, a lot of coaches tell me that they like me, like my playing style, how I move, how I carry myself, my character.”

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