2014 NFL Mock Draft: Another nod for Louis Nix to the Steelers at 15

Jonathan Daniel

Sports Illustrated's Don Banks joins the Louis Nix bandwagon in his most recent mock draft.

To Sports Illustrated writer Don Banks, it's a matter of destiny.

Notre Dame nose tackle Louis Nix will very likely be available when the Steelers go on the clock with the 15th pick. Many suggest the Steelers biggest issue is their defensive line, and they also feel Nix is a player who can step on the field in his first year and contribute.

Those are debatable opinions, but to Banks, the choice is clear. Nix is their guy.

His reasoning:

The late-season knee injury Nix suffered could serve to drop him out of the first round's first half, but, at 6-3, 345 pounds, he certainly looks like the next run-stuffing Steelers nose tackle. Despite his massive girth, Nix moves pretty well, and he's cut from the same cloth as the gap-eating former Steeler Casey Hampton. Cornerback, safety and offensive tackle are other needs that fit Pittsburgh's mid-first-round draft slot, but given what Dick LeBeau's defense lacked last season, Nix seems like a prospect who's destined to be a Steeler.

There's solid reasoning behind his prediction. Solid, if you believe his logic is accurate. Nix's workout at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis will be huge (defensive linemen will work out Feb. 24), needing to show concerns with a knee injury are baseless.

At the same time, it's hard to ignore a knee problem for a guy who separates himself from his peers due to his quickness while playing at 345 pounds. If he doesn't have that, what's the difference between himself and soon-to-be-former Ravens NT Terrence Cody?

It's easy to compare him to Hampton, simply because they're both extraordinarily large. Their styles don't look similar, and Hampton played with noticeably more strength than Nix does at this point in his career. This says nothing of the fact Hampton was the 19th pick of the 2001 NFL Draft.

This isn't as natural a fit as Banks suggests it is, but that doesn't rule him out, either.

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