Name: Kenneth Dixon
Position: Running Back
School: Louisiana Tech
Hands: 9 ½”
Projected: 3rd round
Highly productive in college, Dixon is an elusive runner with an outstanding jump-cut. He has the ability to create in space, grows more aggressive upon contact and fights to fall forward for positive yards.
Able to diagnose running lanes before the snap, actively adjusts to the defense. Dixon gets stronger as he gets into a rhythm, wearing down a defense with his physicality.
He also has solid hands that allow him to be a dynamic asset in the passing game.
His size and injury history will bring about durability questions, especially given his violent nature of running the ball. He has missed time in both the 2013 and 2015 season with various lower body injuries, and scouts will take pause with trusting his legs to hold up.
Pass protection will be an early struggle, as he often missed on blocks while at Louisiana Tech, but he is willing to learn and should improve with proper coaching.
Ball security was a concern throughout college and he will need to do a better job protecting it once in the NFL.
Dixon doesn’t bring a significantly different skill set than Duke Johnson does. Johnson is expected to be a big part of the offense’s plans in 2016, it would be surprising if the Browns drafted another smaller back in this draft.
If the Browns are truly targeting an upgrade in the run game, one would expect them to look for more of the classic AFC North smash-mouth style runner that can hammer it between the tackles.
He would be a great fit in a zone protection scheme, and he would do well as a safety valve for a young quarterback out of the backfield. Dixon’s violent style and determination will quickly make him a favorite of the offensive line, especially given his ability to hit pay-dirt frequently. If he can stay healthy and improve his pass protection, he has the potential to be a three-down back in the NFL.
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