Johnnie Dixon 2019 NFL Draft Profile

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Johnnie Dixon
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - DECEMBER 01: Ohio State Buckeyes wide receiver Johnnie Dixon (1) looks over to the sidelines during the Big 10 Championship game between the Northwestern Wildcats and Ohio State Buckeyes on December 1, 2018, at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, IN. (Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Overview
Position
: Wide receiver
Height: 5’10”
Weight: 201 pounds
School: Ohio State Buckeyes

Combine Performance Data
40-yard dash
: 4.41 seconds
Bench press: 16 reps
Vertical jump: 37.5 inches
Broad jump: 10 feet
20-yard shuttle: 4.43 seconds

Johnnie Dixon 2019 NFL Draft Profile

The high school career of Johnnie Dixon went out with a bang as he helped Dwyer in the West Palm Beach, FL area win a Class 7A state title and clinch its first-ever unbeaten season. It was his play that partly made it possible as he accounted for 366 yards and six receiving touchdowns in the state playoffs. A consensus four-star recruit who was ranked 34th in the nation by ESPN, Dixon committed to Ohio State early in his senior year of high school.

As a true freshman, Dixon saw action in just two games before being shut down which made him eligible for a redshirt. The next two seasons saw him make quite the muted impact as he managed just seven catches for 55 yards and no touchdown receptions. But in 2016, he did find the end zone once as a runner in the Buckeyes’ 58-0 rout of Rutgers that year.

Dixon finally became a regular part of the OSU receiving corps as a redshirt junior. It was then that he totaled 422 yards and led the team with eight touchdown catches. He added a further eight scores in 2018 and realized a career-high yardage amount of 669. His touchdown total as a senior was third on the team behind Parris Campbell (12) and Terry McLaurin (11), the Buckeyes’ other two receiving prospects in this year’s draft.

Strengths

  • confident catcher of the football with soft hands;
  • straight line burst can induce panic grabs out of corners;
  • accelerates to full speed rather seamlessly;
  • recognizes zone seams and makes himself available there;
  • active with his hands in combatting press coverage;
  • showcases a lot of potential as a vertical threat;
  • solid ball-tracking ability downfield;
  • contributed as a returner and a gunner on special teams in college.

Weaknesses

  • undersized at the next level for the role he primarily occupied in college;
  • not much of a playmaker after the catch;
  • generally brought down on initial contact;
  • might not have the functional strength to consistently separate from jams;
  • not a lot of contested catch ability shows up on film;
  • a willing blocker but he oftentimes gets overpowered;
  • 41 appearances for OSU but only five starts and just two years of noticeable production;
  • has a history of repeated knee injuries;

NFL Comparison: Pharoh Cooper

Teams With Need at Position: Arizona Cardinals, Baltimore Ravens, Buffalo Bills, Carolina Panthers, Cleveland Browns, Green Bay Packers, Indianapolis Colts, New England Patriots, Pittsburgh Steelers, San Francisco 49ers, Washington Redskins

Projection: Sixth to seventh round

Bottom Line

Dixon comprised an immensely talented OSU receiving corps that helped Dwayne Haskins, likely a first round pick this year, put together a record-breaking campaign in 2018. He brings immense athleticism to the table which enables him to quickly reach full speed when running routes. It makes him a legitimate deep threat both outside the numbers and down the middle of the field. And there really don’t seem to be many glaring issues on tape with regard to drops.

But there are clearly deficiencies with respect to size, particularly if he wants to reprise the role he played in Columbus. His route-running is fairly basic and he’ll certainly need to learn a broader route tree if he wants to succeed at the next level. His catch radius is also limited and he didn’t demonstrate an ability to make catches in traffic on a consistent basis. And it’s still up in the air if he can become the kind of receiver that can escape physical press corners at the line of scrimmage.

Dixon will have to become more adept at playing out of the slot to become a productive part of an NFL receiving corps. That will entail him polishing up his overall route-running. He definitely looks poised for a great deal of special teams duty early on. And he’s capable both as a return man and in punt coverage. In time, Dixon should find consistent work both in the slot as well as outside and has the potential to be a reliable depth add on any roster at the next level.

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