30 for 29: This is the seventh in a daily series of looks at 30 prospects the Patriots may consider selecting with the 29th overall pick at the 2014 NFL Draft.
Louis Nix, DT, Notre Dame
6-foot-2, 324 pounds. DOB: 7/31/91
2013: 27 tackles, 2 tackles for loss, 0 sacks
2012: 50 tackles, 7.5 TFL, 2 sacks
2011: 45 tackles, 4.5 TFL, .5 sacks
Missed five games his final year at Notre Dame with a meniscus tear. Also had knee tendinitis. Has one more year of eligibility, but will forego it since he’s graduated and has 13 siblings he’d like to help provide for. A native of Jacksonville, Florida with a big and engaging personality. Drew chuckles with this at the Combine.
TO THE GOOD
Massive human. Anchors well and is quick enough to get off double teams and make plays in the running game despite the extra attention. Has played against high-level competition as a three-year starter.
TO THE BAD
His conditioning and knee situations will be a concern for teams at the top of the draft. His weight fluctuated quite a bit during his stint with knee issues and that caused his stock to drop quite a bit after the 2012 season, when he figured to be an early first-rounder.
With Vince Wilfork nearing the end, and in possession of a deal that may have him heading elsewhere after this season, the Patriots are going to need another elite defensive tackle/nose guard who can consume space and collapse the pocket. Nix could be the most reasonable replacement of the group on the board as interior defensive line. In a draft this deep, taking a guy at the top who may have conditioning and health issues related to weight may not be a shrewd move. Get a guy you know will play and take the gambles later.
Pete Prisco, CBS: 25th to San Diego
Bucky Brooks, NFL.com: 29th to New England