After Going Undrafted, Xavier Nixon Focused On The Future
The offensive tackle has accepted that he was not chosen in the NFL draft last weekend, and he left the Redskins’ mini-camp Sunday encouraged by the feedback from his coaches.
BY ZAC BOYER
ASHBURN – Xavier Nixon was bothered that he was not chosen in the NFL draft last weekend, but on Sunday, the final day of the Redskins’ rookie minicamp, the offensive tackle from Florida chose not to show it.
“I mean, all that to this point is really irrelevant,” Nixon said. “All I can do is worry about the future and where my work ethic will take me. This is a new beginning for me, so I have to start fresh.”
Pegged by some analysts as a potential mid-round pick, the 6-foot-6, 321-pound Nixon instead waited through three days to find out he wasn’t selected.
The Redskins called him after they made their seventh-round selection, Rutgers running back Jawan Jamison, and told him that if nobody else chose him, they’d like to have him sign a contract as an undrafted free agent.
Nixon was receptive to the idea, and he signed a contract within the next few days. When he reported to rookie minicamp on Friday, all he could focus on was getting an opportunity.
“Regardless if I would have went first pick or not picked at all, the situation I’m in, I’ve got to stay hungry,” Nixon said. “I’m going to stay true to myself. I know where I came from and I know the people and I know what I’m working for. I’m always gonna stay hungry.”
A high school all-American, Nixon was the first true freshman to start at left tackle for Florida since 1992 when he did so five years ago. He moved to right tackle his sophomore year, moved back to the left side as a junior and ended his career with 46 games played and 33 starts.
Somewhat familiar with zone blocking from his time in college, Nixon said he adapted quickly to what he was asked to do for the Redskins this past weekend. He said the coaches praised his athleticism, his footwork, his speed and his agility, which gives him the confidence that he can succeed with the team.
“Everything happens for a reason, and I’m glad I ended up in a place where I fit the system and I have the ability to work hard and get better,” Nixon said.