Did Bo Nix Throw His Way to QB3 After Another Efficient Day Against USC?

Bo Nix has always been talented, but things never came together at Auburn. Oregon resurrected his NFL Draft stock. How high could he go?

Oregon QB Bo Nix doesn’t want to be forgotten in the race to be the third quarterback selected in the 2024 NFL Draft. Nobody’s opinion on players should be positively or negatively impacted seriously because of one game.

But for a long time, it’s felt like Michigan’s J.J. McCarthy has held the QB3 placecard. However, many are hot on his heels. None of them seriously compare to Drake Maye and Caleb Williams.

Bo Nix Continues His QB3 Argument

Even just 18 months ago, claiming that Nix could be a first-round pick would be met with a belly laugh that would get a patron kicked out of a comedy club. But a lot can change over the course of two college football seasons. He’s a Heisman Trophy candidate, and he could have elevated his status to becoming a first-round selection.

A 22-of-29 game against USC for 402 yards and four touchdowns certainly won’t hurt his chances.

Nix went from a young, athletic quarterback with a strong arm and a tendency to panic against SEC rushers to a whipsmart passer that distributes the ball exactly where it needs to go, on time and on target.

Oregon’s offense certainly helps with his production. The offense finds creative ways to create open windows in the passing attack, particularly near the line. Justin Herbert’s evaluation was difficult in part because of a similar offense. They consistently took their Lamborghini Aventador SVJ and used it like a Ford Fiesta.

It is something we’d still like to see more from him in the Chargers’ passing attack. Like Herbert, Nix hasn’t been forced to push the ball often. In fact, according to Sports Info Solutions, he attempted passes of 15-plus air yards 70 times in 2022, compared to 103 and 100 from Herbert in 2018 and 2019.

Nix has been more effective downfield, which shows the growth he’s made as a passer. But over the years, Nix became a much more confident player from within the pocket, and his mental trigger became second nature.

His operation against zone coverage has become practically flawless. Nix picks apart opposing defenses. He also shows great anticipation and placement against man coverage.

Adding his athleticism to the mix, he’s difficult to defend. Nix is shifty with the ball in his hands. Although he doesn’t have breakaway speed the way others do, Nix consistently shakes defenders at the line of scrimmage to pick up extra yards. But unlike early in his career, and even somewhat last season, he does not rely on his athleticism.

MORE: 2024 NFL Draft Big Board

Dicing up the USC defense for a season high in yards won’t change his NFL Draft outlook. But even against USC, some of the throws we saw from Nix were high-end, NFL-caliber throws.

There is no telling how this QB class will shape up. Because of McCarthy’s age and physical profile, he will likely be the leader in the QB3 clubhouse. Jayden Daniels continues to have a miraculous season at LSU, and he’s one of the most dangerous runners in the country. And while it doesn’t seem like Shedeur Sanders is going to declare, he could.

But the point is that this is not Auburn. Nix’s environment has gotten better, but his game is exponentially better. We shouldn’t be surprised if a team takes him in the first round.

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