2024 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Johnny Dixon




  • Johnny Dixon, 5-11/192
  • Cornerback
  • Penn State

Johnny Dixon Scouting Report

By Charlie Campbell

Strengths:

  • Prevents separation
  • Runs the route, stays with receivers
  • Maintains tight coverage
  • Superb blitzer
  • Closes quickly
  • Can break down in space
  • Smooth athlete
  • Can play off-man coverage
  • Can play zone coverage
  • Quality feet
  • Good speed
  • Capable of flipping his hips and running
  • Gritty
  • Challenges receivers
  • Able to compete quickly

Weaknesses:

  • Needs to improve tackling technique
  • Willing tackler, but will miss some tackles
  • Lacks some size
  • Lacks some instincts
  • Needs to improve route recognition

Prospect Summary:

It took some time with other well-established corners in Happy Valley, but Dixon emerged as a nice contributor for the Nittany Lions. In 2022, Dixon was the third cornerback behind Joey Porter Jr. and Kalen King. That season, Dixon collected 23 tackles, two interceptions, eight passes defended and three sacks. In 2023 with Porter in the NFL, the expectation was that King would be the top corner for Penn State, but Dixon was the program’s best defender in coverage. On the year, Dixon recorded 26 tackles, 4.5 sacks, one forced fumble, one interception and three passes defended.

For the NFL, Dixon projects as a starting cornerback who could play on the outside or the inside. Aided by his easy speed and athleticism to run the route, Dixon has nice cover skills to run with receivers and prevent separation. Dixon is fluid in coverage, flipping his hips and displaying a burst to close. He also has nice recoverability to erase space and close on wideouts. Dixon shows the flexibility to play zone, off-man, or press-man coverage as a pro. Along with having skill against the air attack, Dixon is a fantastic blitzer who shows the speed to close on the quarterback in a hurry. Dixon also has the ability to break down in space to tackle scrambling signal-caller.

There are aspects of Dixon’s game that he could stand to improve. Dixon lacks some instincts in coverage, so improving his route recognition is necessary. He is a willing hitter, but his tackling technique needs work to reduce missed tackles. In the NFL, big wideouts could give Dixon problems, as they could possibly make catches over him or wall him off on routine possessional routes.

Dixon looks like a potential second-day pick for the 2024 NFL Draft. He could go in the second round and should not last long if he makes it do Day 3. In time, Dixon could turn into a pro starter.

Prospect Comparison:

Robert Alford. Dixon reminds me of Robert Alford coming out of Southeastern Louisiana. Dixon is almost identical in size to Alford (5-10, 186), and they have similar coverage skills to run with receivers.





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