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2016 NFL Draft Player Breakdown: Kenneth Dixon

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The Dolphins spent significant time this offseason, searching for a suitable running back to pair alongside Jay Ajayi. Miami might not land Elliott in the first round, but the options are endless in the middle part of the draft. With the 42nd pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, the Miami Dolphins select; Kenneth Dixon, running back, Louisiana Tech.

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Who is Kenneth Dixon?

Raised in El Dorado, Arkansas, Kenneth Dixon is one of the draft’s best kept secrets.  As a senior at Strong High, Dixon rushed for 3,153 yards and 39 touchdowns.  Those impressive numbers shattered the state record, earning him "Mr.Football" honors throughout the state of Arkansas. Dixon did not just play football in high school, he also competed in track and field, and basketball.  Dixon was a three-star recruit according to Rivals.com and a top ten player in the state of Arkansas.

Dixon decided to join Louisiana Tech in 2012.  As a true freshman, Kenneth Dixon rushed for 1,194 yards on 200 carries.  He would set the NCAA Freshman record for most touchdowns in a season with 28.   The following year he started in eight out of ten games before suffering a knee injury.  He finished the year with 917 yards and four touchdowns.  During his sophomore year, Kenneth Dixon became Louisiana Tech’s all-time leading rusher; accumulating 1,299 yards and 22 touchdowns.  In his final year of college, Dixon rushed for 1,070 yards and 19 touchdowns.  After a productive four-year career as a starter at Louisiana Tech, Dixon rushed for a school record of 4,480 yards and 72 touchdowns.  Those 72 touchdowns tied him fourth all-time with Dolphins’ great, Ricky Williams.  Run, Ricky, Run!

Awards

  • 2015 First Team All-Louisiana
  • 2014 All-Louisiana First Team
  • 2012 WAC Freshman of the Year
  • 2012 Freshman All-American
  • 2012 First Team All-WAC
  • 2012 Louisiana Freshman of the Year
  • 2012 First Team All-Louisiana

The Good

Kenneth Dixon is a good football player.  At 5-10, 215-pounds, he is quicker than fast.  He has great vision and can play a role in the passing game.  In this play, Dixon shows off his vision and quickness.  He hesitates, selling the draw and immediately makes a defender miss.  He then uses his vision to weave in and out of traffic for a big gain.

Below, is another example of how explosive Dixon is.  He waits for the hole to develop and then explodes through it.

In this play, Dixon takes the sweep and does everything you could ask for from a young running back.  He follows his blockers and when a defender gets near, he lowers his head to pick up additional yardage.

Here, Dixon waits for the tackle to make his initial block, He then uses his 4.58 speed to get to the outside.  At the end of the run you see just how strong he is.

In this play, Dixon shows off his soft hands.  He manages to make a great adjustment on the ball, making an impressive catch.  With a great adjustment, Dixon turns a bad play into a respectable gain.

Here, Dixon runs a wheel route.  The quarterback throws a nice back shoulder pass.  After a great adjustment, Dixon makes an outstanding catch.  He manages to maintain possession resulting in a touchdown.

After further review, Dixon manages to get not one, but two feet down.  Impressive adjustment and catch from a running back.  Touchdown.

Lastly, you get to see how well Dixon can improvise on the fly.  He manages to get behind the defender and the rest is history.

Kenneth Dixon in beast mode.

In this play, Dixon shows off his fancy footwork making the outside linebacker miss.

and a closer look...


The Bad

His production in college is a good thing.  However, all the wear and tear he accumulated over time, is not. Dixon may have trouble remaining healthy in the NFL, but what player doesn't?  He also must get better at carrying the football.  In this play, Dixon fails to secure the football, resulting in the fumble.  He fumbled the football 13 times throughout his college career.

This play looks like it could be a designed screen pass but nonetheless, Dixon does nothing to help his quarterback.  He looks lost from the very beginning of the play.

Dixon had a successful collegiate career, breaking numerous WAC records. It will be interesting to see how his game translates to the NFL and how well the WAC prepared him for elite competition.

The Skinny

Kenneth Dixon is a defensive coordinator's worst nightmare.  He can beat you on the ground and through the air. Miami spent a majority of theoffseason searching for a running back to pair alongside Ajayi, why not Kenneth Dixon?  His production in college proves he can be the bell cow, but that wont be necessary with Jay Ajayi likely getting significant carries in the Dolphins' back field.  Gase's offense utilizes two running backs, so both will be asked to contribute early and often.  Whether it be with the Dolphins or elsewhere, please not New England Kenneth Dixon will have a successful NFL career.