There are few players in recent Ohio State history that have had as wild a trajectory as Johnnie Dixon. From a top, four-star prospect in the 2014 recruiting class to an an injury-plagued career to a team captain and participant in the 2019 NFL Combine.
Dixon moves into this new phase of his career as a bit of a wildcard. In addition to having overcome his production hampered by injuries, he also was one of one of the most talented receiving corps in the country this past season.
While he is not anticipated to be an early-round pick, he has tremendous athleticism, and if he can prove himself throughout the evaluation process leading up to the NFL Draft, he could find a home with a team on the final day.
Here’s what the pros are saying in his NFL Combine Scouting Report:
Appears to be a better athlete than football player at this juncture, but that could change with more work. He has early burst and top speed to challenge defenses over the top, but his lack of size and length works against him outside. Dixon is plenty quick for the slot, but has to improve his routes to have a chance against NFL corners who can read his route tells and crowd him at the top. His special teams value should give him a better shot at making a roster.
Smooth strider with rapid turnover
Ramps up the long speed quickly if he gets a free release
His eight touchdowns in 2018 averaged 32 yards per catch
Aggressive hand slaps await jabbing press coverage
Feet are sudden with early acceleration
Quick-stop potential on comeback routes
Possesses athletic traits to improve separation skill
Works the middle of the field effectively
Finds open space in zone and catches with desired focus
Kick returner and gunner on punt team.
Best-suited outside, but he’s undersized
Arms are short and hands can be inconsistent
Distracted and detoured by press-corners who land on him early
Gets trapped against the sideline by longer cornerbacks
Doesn’t allow intermediate routes to breathe and develop
Gives away upcoming route break with excessive lean
Lacks route savvy to step and stem coverage off of him
Average elusiveness and vision after the catch
Gets overwhelmed by size as a blocker.
- Height: 5’10”
- Weight: 201 lbs.
- Hand size: 9 5/8”
- Arm length: 30 1/4”
Bench press: 16 reps
40-yard dash: 4.41 unofficial | 4.51 unofficial
Run Johnnie D run ‼️@YoungKing_JD5 runs a 4.41 in his first attempt at the 40-yard dash.— Ohio State Football (@OhioStateFB) March 2, 2019
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Vertical jump: 37.5 inches
Broad jump: 120.0 inches
20-yard Shuttle: 4.43 seconds
#Zone6 is BRINGING the today!— Ohio State Football (@OhioStateFB) March 2, 2019
Looking good out there @YoungKing_JD5
Watch the #NFLCombine live on @nflnetwork!#GoBucks #DevelopedHere pic.twitter.com/p8EkkevVR7
Interview Notables and Quotables
There is no doubt that Dixon has the athletic ability to play professional football. However, his well-documented history of injuries — which led him to almost give up the game before his junior season — will present problems. A byproduct of his injuries is the fact that he hasn’t been able to get as many in-game reps on film as you would like.
Therefore, he will need to improve his route running ability to show teams that he can play in the slot. However, his ability to play special teams will make him more attractive to NFL teams.
Unless Dixon has phenomenal showings at the combine and OSU’s Pro Day, he will likely be a late round pick, or potentially an undrafted free agent.