There is plenty to like about former Louisiana Tech running back Kenneth Dixon.
The 5-10, 215-pound first-team All-Conference USA selection last season has a nose for the end zone. Dixon was briefly the all-time leading touchdown scorer in FBS history with 87 before Navy's Keenan Reynolds surpassed him by one in his last game. On the ground alone, Dixon crossed the goal line 39 times in the past two seasons.
Dixon has been a consistent threat in his college career. He had at least 900 rushing yards in each of his four seasons on campus, topping out at 1,299 in 2014. He finished with a school-record 4,480 rushing yards for his career. As a true freshman, Dixon broke Pro Football Hall of Fame running back Marshall Faulk's NCAA freshman records for total touchdowns, rushing touchdowns and points scored.
Like Faulk, Dixon is also a threat as a receiver out of the backfield. At Louisiana Tech, Dixon caught 88 passes for 972 yards and 15 touchdowns in his career.
Why isn't Dixon being talked up by more analysts as the No. 2 running back behind Ohio State's Ezekiel Elliott?
As good as Dixon is catching the ball, his pass blocking leaves a little to be desired which will initially affect his value as a three-down player. Dixon's no-nonsense, physical running style also cost him time on the field in his college career due to injuries. Lastly, Dixon's ball security is a question mark after fumbling 13 times over the past three seasons.
With Elliott a potential top-10 pick, it will be interesting to see how much later Dixon goes and what the eventual difference is in production between the two prospects.
Scouting Report From NFL.com
Highly determined runner with a strong desire to compete through the whistle on every snap. Dixon possesses outstanding feet with exciting suddenness in his change of direction, but he's very willing to finish his runs with authority and has a knack for finding the end zone. Dixon has all the traits of being a quality, three-down starter in the NFL but his frame and suspect pass protection could be long-term concerns. - Lance Zierlein
What He Said
"At Louisiana Tech, I was always the tone-setter. We always went out and tried to set the tempo, even during workouts. I think that's very important to get the team going, getting the offensive line coming off, getting those hits on those pads so we get ready for the pass game." - Kenneth Dixon on the role a rushing attack can have on setting the tone for the game