Name: Roosevelt Nix
College: Kent State
With the CFL players officially evaluated, it’s time to breakdown the guys that weren’t previously on the Pittsburgh Steelers 53 man roster or practice squad last season. To start, let’s take a look at former Atlanta Falcons linebacker, Roosevelt Nix.
Nix enters the Steelers organization as one of the best MAC players in conference history, as he is only the fifth player in MAC history to be named first team all-conference all four seasons of his collegiate career. He finished his college career with 24.0 sacks (2nd in KSU history) and the career leader in Kent State’s history in tackles for losses with 65.0. Nix was also selected to SI.com’s All-America Team in his senior season. Despite these accolades, Nix was not invited to the NFL scouting combine. After the draft he was signed by the Falcons as an undrafted free agent.
With the Falcons, Nix was converted to a fullback to challenge Philip DeMarco in camp. Nix may be best known as the first cut by the Falcons in the popular HBO series, Hard Knocks. After showing his strength by breaking a blocking sled in training camp, former Falcons head coach Mike Smith brought him into the office and released him due to lack of depth of other positions on the roster. During the program, many teammates were surprised by his release as he had performed well in camp.
After his release, Nix went to the Arena Football League, signing with the Cleveland Gladiators, though he did not play for them due to the Steelers signing him.
What Does The Tape Say?
Nix can get off blocks and create pressure with ease. Very productive, always around the ball. Shows immense strength when engaged against offensive lineman. Not a great tackler. Lacks speed to play linebacker. Lacks size to play on the defensive line. Takes bad angles when going for a tackle.
Well, there’s plenty. First off, he doesn’t have a position. He’s too small to play on the defensive line and likely too slow to play linebacker. Plain and simple, he is not a good tackler. Even in his highlight films you see him constantly take bad angles and miss sure-tackles. As a defensive lineman, you can get away with that due to your main job being collapsing the pocket and creating pressure. However, a linebacker has to be the sure-tackler on defense, making Nix a very questionable linebacker. Finally, due to playing defensive lineman and surprisingly fullback most of his career there is no evidence that he can play coverage.
The best way to describe Nix is a mold of clay that defensive coordinator, Keith Butler, can play with. He doesn’t have a position but shows versatility. If there was one place where Nix could possibly play, it’s inside linebacker. However, the Steelers are legitimately stacked at that position, meaning Nix would have to play outside linebacker, which he is likely too slow to play.
In the end, Nix is just another guy, a guy with high accolades, but a guy nonetheless. He has too many holes in his game to justify a roster spot. Overall, it’s doubtful we’ll see Nix stick with the Steelers in camp.