Players

Dennis Dixon  

Height: 6-3   Weight: 215   Age: 34

Born: 1/11/1985 Oakland , CA

College: Oregon

Experience: Season

TDS

1

INT

2

YDS

402

RTG

71.4

Combine 2008

Strengths

Positives: Has a tall, lean frame with athletic muscle tone, minimal body fat (4.5%) and a frame that can carry at least another 15 pounds of bulk with no loss in quickness...Has a tight waist and hips, with good thickness in the legs and thighs...Demonstrates very good balance and body control driving back from center and his quickness needs to be accounted for by the defense when he runs with the ball, as he has the valid second gear to separate...More patient in the pocket, but will not hesitate to run with the ball, adding a dangerous weapon to the ground game (ranks second in school history in yards rushing by a quarterback)...The team used the shotgun formation mostly, but Dixon has the quickness and athletic agility to move in the pocket and drive back from center to his throwing point...Best staying in the short area when throwing off the sprint, but can push the ball downfield on roll-out action when he steps into the throw...Quick and decisive, making good progression reads...Has worked on becoming more compact with his over-the-top delivery, showing a quicker release than he did in the past...Efficient using a sidearm release on the move (can adjust his release to the situation) and has effective throwing mechanics...Steps into his throws better and his compact, natural release has greatly reduced turnover totals...Has the functional arm strength to make all the throws, but needs to be conscious of his footwork, as he must step into his long tosses in order to prevent the ball from spraying...Can fire the ball into tight areas and showed in 2007 that he can unleash the deep ball without having to wind up like he did in the past...Looks to have much better velocity and zip on the ball after refining his release point as a senior and it is now rare to see his targets having to adjust...In the short area, Dixon's touch is evident, as he is doing a better job of setting his feet in order to have better accuracy...As evident by the 2007 Michigan and Stanford games, he now knows how to lay the ball out for the receiver to run under without having to make adjustments in the route...Knows when to take something off his short tosses and does a nice job of feathering the ball over the receiver's outside shoulder and away from the defender when attacking the deep zone...Steps into his throws better and has a more fluid finish (no longer pats the ball before throwing)...Even though he is still a very dangerous runner, he is more confident in his protection and will step up into the pocket or slide to avoid...Teammates have confidence that he will make the right decisions as he is more likely to go through his progressions rather than try to force the ball to his primary target...With his quick, rhythm throws on the move, his backs and slot receivers have greatly benefited, as he shows much better vision in locating alternate targets...Shows strength on the run and the loose hips to elude...With his peripheral vision, he does a nice job of sensing backside pressure and is more alert to when he has to step up and out to avoid pressure and buy time to allow the play to develop...Has the valid foot speed to be dangerous on the move...Even though he could use more bulk and strength, he has the functional leg drive to break tackles and shows good body lean to fall forward for extra yardage...Especially effective throwing to his left on the roll out and has the straight-line speed, along with the elusiveness to take the ball to the house when running past the line of scrimmage. Negatives: Needs to add more bulk to his frame in order to absorb punishment in the pocket at the professional level...Did not communicate well with the previous offensive coordinator, but the arrival of Chip Kelly as the team's new coordinator and quarterbacks coach saw the staff cater their game plan to Dixon's assets...Threw under duress frequently in the past and was too jittery in the pocket, but he learned to take time to make his reads and checks and will throw the ball away rather than try to create something out of nothing...Not known as a "gym rat" in the offseason training room and needs monitoring in order to do the little extras, but the new offensive coordinator had him more involved in the game planning than the past regime...Can throw on the move, but must be alert to setting his feet and stepping into those throws, or it will affect his accuracy...When he throws across his body or off the wrong foot, his passes tend to spray, causing his targets to adjust off their routes...As a junior, he was always waiting for the "hook" from the coaching staff and lost confidence in his ability to read coverage and would force the ball too often, especially on deep routes (had five games with multiple interceptions)...In the past, he did not always follow through when throwing deep, as he had a bit of a long throwing arc...Under the old coordinator, he looked very skittish standing in the pocket and would bolt at the first sign of pressure...Doctors anticipate he will need a minimum of six months to recover from December left knee anterior cruciate ligament reconstructive surgery, making it hard for teams to get a good evaluation on his recovery leading up to the April draft...The injury could possibly make him reconsider his career path, as he is already property of the Atlanta Braves baseball organization. (In a late November interview after his injury, the QB was asked about whether he would play baseball or football and responded, "I'll talk with my family at the end of the season," Dixon said. "I'll see what my (NFL draft) forecast is and how I do at the various evaluations and talk to my family. It will be a thorough decision process. ... I have a lot of options. The sky is the limit."). Compares To: WARREN MOON-Ex-Houston/Minnesota/Seattle/Kansas City...Like Moon, Dixon is emerging late in his career, having found the ideal tutor in offensive coordinator Chip Kelly. He is a dangerous scrambler who is showing much better patience in the pocket and better confidence in his ability. He is using his fine peripheral vision to make better checks and progression reads and no longer plays with an attitude that he has to make something spectacular happen on every play. He still needs to be conscious of stepping into his long throws better, but unlike another Oregon one-season wonder, Akili Smith, Dixon appears to have more value as an athlete and a better concept of how to execute a game plan.