With the 2014 NFL Draft only a few months away, we reached out to some of the draft prospects we believe the Green Bay Packers could target in May. Earlier in the week we heard from Notre Dame tight end Troy Niklas, and today, we hear from one of the top strong safeties in this year’s draft, Baylor’s Ahmad Dixon.
Dixon was an All-American safety and three-year starter in the Baylor Bears defense. He spent his first two years as a starter in the team’s nickel “Bear” position, which is a linebacker/safety hybrid role. Playing this position, Dixon amassed nearly 200 tackles and 11 tackles for loss in 2011-2012.
The Texas native transitioned to strong safety as a senior and excelled as a hard-hitting defensive back who could also move up in the box and play against the run. Dixon is a physical player who also possesses the speed to patrol the middle of the field.
As a consensus first-team All-Big 12 player in 2013, Dixon was one of the top safeties in all of college football last season. Many see the physical safety as a good fit in the NFL for any team looking for a playmaker in their secondary.
Dixon has been projected anywhere from the second to the fourth round in the draft, but good numbers at the combine or pro day could move the former Baylor Bear up draft boards.
Since the Packers will be looking for a safety in the early rounds of the draft, we reached out to Dixon and he was courteous enough to take the time to answer our questions.
Q. With the college season over, do you have any specific plans in getting ready for the draft in May?
AD: Just working out, watching film, and bettering my game on every level.
Q. How would you describe your style of play, and what do you believe you do best on the field?
AD: I am a very physical player, and I’m not afraid of anything. I just like to relax and go out there and play football.
Q. Anyone watching you play will see that you aren’t afraid to deliver a big hit. Do you take pride in being a physical safety, and is there a certain mentality that goes into playing this way?
AD: Yes, I do take pride in that because if you watch today’s football, guys are kind of shying away from contact. The only thing that goes through my head are the great words of Coach Briles, “make them remember your name,” and that is what I try to do when I step on the field.
Q. Are there any players, past or present, that you try to model your game after or have influenced you in any way?
AD: Yes, indeed. I have two guys I like to model my play after and that’s the great Ed Reed and Kansas City’s Eric Berry.
Q. If the Packers drafted you in May, how would you feel about playing in Green Bay, and what kind of player would they be getting?
AD: I wouldn’t mind playing in Green Bay. The Packers were actually the name of the last little league team I played on. They would be getting a great, caring, passionate, and respectful leader in their locker room.
Q. You’re a two-time All Big-12 player and was one of the top safeties in college football in 2013. How do you transfer the success you had at the collegiate level to the NFL?
AD: I just need to keep doing what I have been doing, which is bettering my game on every level physically, staying strong mentally, and taking care of the little things that matter the most.
Q. What do you anticipate being the biggest challenge of playing safety in the NFL?
AD: The speed and the size of the veterans of the game.
Q. You played a hybrid nickel/linebacker position as a junior and sophomore in Baylor’s defense. How do you believe your background at this position will help you play safety at the next level?
AD: Yes, it will. I have learned a lot from playing that position and it will make my transition to the NFL easier.
Q. When you’re away from football, what are some of your favorite things to do?
AD: Relax with family and friends and hangout with my girlfriend.
Q. Is there anything else you’d like Packers fans to know about you?
AD: They would love me if I was wearing the Green and Gold.
Career college stats
2013 – 81 tackles, 2 TFL, 6 PBUs, FF, INT, and a blocked kick
2012 – 102 tackles, 5.5 TFL, 3 PBUs, a sack, and 2 INT
2011 – 89 tackles, 5.5 TFL, 3 PBUs, and an INT returned for a TD
2010 – 16 tackles and a FF
Film on Ahmad Dixon
Ahmad Dixon Highlights
Ahmad Dixon against Kansas State: 8 tackles, PBU, and an INT
Ahmad Dixon against Texas Tech: 8 tackles and a forced fumble
Watch more film on Ahmad Dixon at draftbreakdown.com.