The calendar has now flipped over to July and that means the Pittsburgh Steelers annual training camp will be getting underway in Latrobe later this month. As usual, we have several series planned to get you ready for this year’s training camp and mine will center around preview profiles of 50 players over the course of the next 25 days. Most of these profiles will be on players who were under contract with the team in 2016.
Up twenty-fifth in this series is a 2017 preview profile of fullback Roosevelt Nix.
Intro: Nix’s 2016 season got off to a slow start due to a back injury that forced him to miss the first five regular season games. Once healthy, however, he quickly showed again that he can be counted on as a lead blocker in the running game as well as a productive special teams player, a phase of his game that probably doesn’t receive enough recognition. Stats-wise, Nix registered two catches for 5 yards and recorded eight total tackles on special teams during the regular season which was second-best behind only linebacker Tyler Matakevich.
Current Strengths: Nix is a very effective and devastating straight-ahead lead blocker and more times than not hits his intended target and provides a running lane. He can move out in space on runs around the edge effectively as well. His build and low center of gravity allows him to effectively win most leverage wars and especially when he uses his powerful legs. He’s a reliable tackler on special teams and stays assignment sound as part of coverage teams.
Current Weaknesses: Nix isn’t much of a route runner and thus isn’t used in the passing game very much. While an effective move blocker, he can struggle at times when occasionally lined up on or near the line of scrimmage. Nix doesn’t change direction overly well last minute and can occasionally take bad angles on blocks. Not much of a tight end alternative option.
2017 Outlook: As far as true fullbacks in the NFL go, Nix is high-quality and he makes a difference when he’s on the field in the running game. There’s no reason to think that his success won’t continue in 2017 and especially if he’s able to start the regular season fully healthy, something he was unable to do last season. His special teams prowess should also continue in 2017 and thus he should be counted on to be at the top of the season-needing stat sheet when it comes to total tackles. He figures to see way less than 200 offensive snaps in 2017, however.
2017 Base Salary: $615,000
2017 Salary Cap Charge: $615,000
2017 Health Status: No known ailments exiting offseason program
2016 Health Status: Missed five games in 2016 with back injury
2016 Regular Season Snaps Played: 100 of 1,083
2016 Stat That Matters: 8 total special teams tackles were second-most on team