ESPN Draftniks Kiper And McShay Both Have Steelers Selecting Nix In Latest Mock Drafts

ESPN draftniks Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay both released the second versions of their first round mock drafts on Thursday, and both predicted Notre Dame nose tackle Louis Nix III as the selection the Pittsburgh Steelers will make with the 15th overall selection.

Per Kiper:

While I project Nix here because he’s an obvious system fit working directly over the center or shading a little — eating gaps and making everyone around him (particularly behind him) more effective — he actually has decent quickness for such a mammoth human and could also work in a 4-3. To say Nix moves like a 300-pounder is a compliment, and Pittsburgh could use some help on the defensive line, particularly up the middle.

Per McShay:

Nix performed better in 2012 than he did in 2013, and he’ll be coming off a knee injury, but you simply don’t find many players with his enormous size who can move like he does. Nix has the potential to develop into the Steelers’ next Casey Hampton and serve as the centerpiece of their 3-4 defensive scheme. He wouldn’t be Pittsburgh’s only option in this scenario, however; Alabama safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Oklahoma State CB Justin Gilbert, Notre Dame OT Zack Martin and Alabama OT Cyrus Kouandjio would all be good fits. The Steelers might be able to get a bigger WR like Fresno State’s Davante Adams or Florida State’s Kelvin Benjamin on Day 2.

This is not the first time that we’ve seen Nix mocked to the Steelers by the major media draft analyst and it’s sure to not be the last. While Nix is a quality prospect, I still think that the Steelers don’t view the nose tackle position as being as big of a need as most make it out to be.

Here are some numbers that I pulled from our 2013 charting project as it relates to the nose tackle position. Outside of goal-line packages when two defensive tackles were on the field together at the same time, the Steelers used a traditional nose tackle on 441 plays in 2013. Of those 441 plays, 250 were charted as runs.

Nix is not a three-down player and if drafted by the Steelers, he would be lucky to see the field as a starter before the 2015 season. With all due respect to McShay, Nix is also not a reincarnation of Casey Hampton, who didn’t start as a rookie until Week 7.

You know the drill, so start discussing below in the comments.


    Good thing they aren’t drafting for us.

  • chris ward

    I don’t know why the analyst on ESPN have such an obsession with the Steelers drafting a NT in the first round. I just think the Steelers have far more important needs in the first round, then to draft a two down player.

  • Kevin Gobleck

    If we really could grab Gilbert in round one and Benjamin in round 2 i’d be doing backflips

  • Jason White

    You and me both.

  • Matt Manzo

    I wish I had their jobs!

  • Steeler Fanatic

    These guys get paid for this?!? Nix is a two-down player. He is nowhere near the talent of Hampton. Will he generate a pass rush? No. Does he take plays off? Yes. The Steelers need a corner in the worst way, even an inside ‘backer. But not Nix. Sign the free agent nose tackle from the Dolphins. There are options that don’t include Nix.

  • Brian Tollini

    Back in December I liked this pick (if we traded down and acquired extra picks) but the more I look at this draft the more I want to take the best player available that plays in the secondary. We are losing Clark. Troy has 1-2 years left. Ike has 1-2 years left if he takes a pay cut. 3 starters that will need to be replaced sooner rather than later. It is imperative that we take safeties and corners in this draft. The WR depth is deep in this class, let’s focus on getting some talent in our secondary early and often.

  • 2winz

    I don’t watch much football but I keep hearing that Nix is nothing like Hampton, but I remember hearing everybody saying they hope Steelers wouldn’t draft Dontari Poe not too long ago too. so forget comparing Nix to Hampton, I want to compare Nix to Poe. can somebody tell me if Nix is better than Poe coming out of college? Poe has lived up to being a 1st round pick as a DT for Kansas City so I’m curious. No body wanted Poe back then but I doubt anybody would have a problem with having him on the Steelers team now.

  • Shannon Stephenson

    Although I like McLendon he dosent take up blockers like a typical NT in our system would which is very important in a 3/4. I do not see any early round NT’s that would fit the bill and Nix is over rated. We can live with McLendon but IMO he isnt ideal although Dave does put up good stats stating that when he is in Mc holds his own. I still do not have a clear 1st round answer but secondary seems to be a direction where we cannot argue if a guy is picked in the 1st.

  • Shannon Stephenson

    They are like the weather men of sports.

  • SteelersDepot

    Nix’s college tape is WAY better than Poe’s was,but no way will he kill the combine like Poe did.

  • Jollyrob68

    sign FA Terrence Cody & resign Al Woods

  • RedCarpetDefense

    I’d rather the Steelers take Hageman over Nix. Even Aaron Donald is an intriguing prospect with his pass rush ability if he’s able to play the 5 technique. I’m interested to see these two perform at the combine.

  • sean mcmartin

    Well put…They get paid even when their wrong..

  • 2winz

    Thank you, That’s all I wanted to know, honestly, If there is a good cb prospect available, I would rather have the Steelers go that route. But if they pick up Nix, I’ll support them. Poe put up insane numbers at the combine no doubt, but everyone was saying that the #’s he put up at the combine didn’t match his production on the field. Saying things like “he got stuffed by a rb, he doesn’t have the on-the-field strength”. So if Nix has a good combine, and if that’s who the Steelers feel is the best player, I support them. I don’t think McClendon brings that fear factor as a NT where the opponents would double team him. That’s what we need in the middle. that’s just my opinion, + it would allow McClendon to assume the DE spot I would believe. I think he’d be really good there.

  • William Weaver

    If healthy I bet Nix surprises you with his quickness and agility numbers at the combine. Don’t know about strength numbers. Be interested to see.

  • Weiss Chad

    I like mosely, lee, dennard, ebron, and hagerman in first.In second would love t see Benjamin, prior, Donald, or varret

  • Bradys_Dad

    Holy Crap on a Cracker ! Big, questionably ineffective, slow and a concern for work and dietary habits …. just what we need. Hagemen is MUCH better choice if we go DL in the 1st round.

  • James Kling

    Cody is a fat POS.

  • James Kling

    They’re both doofuses.

  • headsth

    Yes Nix may only be a two down player, but he gives them two picks for one. Nix at nose, McClendon then fills need at tackle. I like the sounds of Heyward, Nix McClendon as starting front three.

  • Steelmill 74

    I hope Nixs is the pick. All you that don’t understand the defense we run would not understand the importance of NT. We have to stop the run first PERIOD. We need are next Casey Hampton and I hope he is it. We need to get back into the top 3 of run defenses, in 2013 we are the 21st ranked run defense. Nixs will be good on the next level. It’s worth the risk people.

  • SFIC

    Nix = Terrence Cody
    A wasted pick.
    Don’t listen to these so-called mock experts. If they really knew anything they would be GM’s or scouting directors for an NFL team.
    Go on YouTube and watch the game film people. Nix might not even be a 2nd rd talent.
    People mocked me 2 years ago when I stated that Ta’Amu wasn’t worth a 2nd rd pick and that I would even pass on him in the 3rd…sure enough.
    Nix will NOT be a Poe, Raji or Lotulelei…he will be a Cody….a backup

  • SFIC

    LOL!!! Good one!

  • Callentown

    If this is the case, I hope we see the Nix of 2012 and his play makes all of our fears go away. IF he were to get picked and worked out, I’d be just fine with that.

    McClendon and Heyward would make great DE’s.

  • mlc43

    If we aren’t to listen to professional analysts because they aren’t GM’s or Scouting Directors then why should we listen to you? Unless there is something you aren’t telling us about your occupation. 🙂


    If we actually brought in a few Free Agents I wouldn’t mind Nix, but I feel he would still be a reach at 15. Big Snack had triple his production in college. NTs usually fall in the draft.

  • Jeff

    Nix is the perfect selection. He could anchor the line for the next 10 years if he can stay healthy and manage his weight. He is absolutely nothing like Terrence Cody as several people have said because he can actually move and penetrate while Cody was a run stopper. This also allows the Steelers to move McClendon out to DE which makes the problem of resigning 99 or 96 a lot easier to deal with.

  • Jeff

    You are completely wrong. Cody was a big space eater with little to no agility or speed. When Cody was drafted no one suggested he was worthy of a 1st rd pick, almost everyone suggests Nix is. The only ones that don’t are because of concerns about his knee surgery.

  • SFIC

    No I’m not wrong. Cody was ranked as a mid first rd pick. And he does have very quick feet. Go look up his predraft bio. Just like Nix, I don’t want to go near either of them because they lack explosion

  • SFIC

    Nix can penetrate against weak competition. But vs better C’s and G’s he was stoned. Total waste of a 1st rd pick.