Outland finalist Nixon declares for ’21 NFL draft


Iowa defensive tackle Daviyon Nixon, an Outland Trophy finalist, is entering the 2021 NFL draft, he announced Wednesday.

I have had many great teachers and coaches along the path, especially here at Iowa,” Nixon posted on Twitter. “I would not be in the position to chase my NFL dreams without the leadership of Coach Kirk Ferentz.

“… There is nothing like playing at Kinnick Stadium in front of the best fans in college football. Standing shoulder to shoulder with my amazing teammates and swarming out of the tunnel at Kinnick is something that I will always remember. I have grown, developed, and learned so much being an Iowa Hawkeye and I cannot wait to see what this new chapter brings.”

Nixon, the 2020 Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year, rose to No. 10 on ESPN’s Mel Kiper’s list of top prospects for the NFL draft. He led the Big Ten in tackles for loss (33), tied for the conference lead with 5.5 sacks, and led Big Ten defensive linemen in tackles (41). The 6-foot-3, 305-pound Nixon is the only player named a finalist for both the Outland Trophy and the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, given to the nation’s top defensive player.

He planned to play for Iowa on Wednesday in the TransPerfect Music City Bowl, which was canceled because of COVID-19 issues with Missouri. Iowa ended its season at 6-2 after winning its final six contests.

Nixon, who transferred to Iowa from Iowa Western Community College, appeared in all 13 games last season and started once, recording 29 tackles.

Iowa defensive end Chauncey Golston, who tied Nixon for the league lead with 5.5 sacks and had 8.5 tackles for loss, also announced Wednesday that he would enter the NFL draft. Golston recorded 129 career tackles, including 27 for loss.

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