Nixon Selected by Panthers in 5th Round

by Darren Miller


CLEVELAND — University of Iowa junior defensive tackle Daviyon Nixon was selected by the Carolina Panthers in the fifth round of Saturday’s NFL Draft. Nixon was the 158th player picked overall.

Nixon, a native of Kenosha, Wisconsin, earned consensus All-America honors after leading the Big Ten Conference in tackles for loss (13) and total tackles among defensive lineman (45). Iowa’s defensive Roy J. Carver Most Valuable Player was also named the Nagurski-Woodson Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year and the Smith-Brown Big Ten Defensive Lineman of the Year. Nixon was one of three finalists for the Outland Trophy and one of five finalists for the Bronko Nagurski Award.

With the 6-foot-3, 305-pound Nixon on the defensive line in 2020, the Hawkeyes won six of eight games (including six in a row to conclude the pandemic-shortened season). Iowa allowed an average of 16 points per game (sixth among all FBS programs), 313.8 yards (eighth) and 107.6 yards on the ground (10th).

A play that shows off Nixon’s skills and athleticism occurred during Iowa’s 41-21 win at Penn State on Nov. 21. With two minutes remaining, Penn State quarterback Sean Clifford tossed a screen pass toward Caziah Holmes. Nixon timed his jump, grabbed the ball at Iowa’s 29, and returned it 71 yards for a touchdown. (Click HERE for video).

Iowa has had 15 defensive interior linemen or defensive ends selected during the Kirk Ferentz era. Nixon’s teammate, defensive end Chauncey Golston, was selected in the third round by Dallas with the 84th pick. On Saturday, Iowa wide receiver Ihmir Smith-Marsette was selected by Minnesota in the fifth round with pick 157 — one pick before Nixon was taken by the Panthers.

Last season Carolina finished third in the NFC South with a record of 5-11.

Iowa has had at least one player drafted in every NFL Draft since 1978, including 10 first round selections. Nixon is the 78th player coached by Ferentz at Iowa to be selected in the NFL Draft.

NFL Draft During Ferentz Era

2023 NFL Draft
2022 NFL Draft
Round 1Tyler LinderbaumBaltimoreOffensive Line
Round 4Dane BeltonNew York GiantsDefensive Back
2021 NFL Draft
Round 3Chauncey GolstonDallasDefensive End
Round 5Ihmir Smith-MarsetteMinnesotaWide Receiver
Round 5Daviyon NixonCarolinaDefensive Tackle
Round 6 Nick NiemannLos Angeles ChargersLinebacker
2020 NFL Draft
Round 1 (13 overall)Tristan WirfsTampa BayOffensive Tackle
Round 2A.J. EpenesaBuffaloDefensive End
Round 3Michael OjemudiaDenverDefensive Back
Round 7Geno StoneBaltimoreDefensive Back
Round 7Nate StanleyMinnesotaQuarterback
2019 NFL Draft
Round 1 (8 overall)T.J. HockensonDetroitTight End
Round 1 (20)Noah FantDenverTight End
Round 4Anthony NelsonTampa BayDefensive End
Round 4Amani HookerTennessee Defensive Back
2018 NFL Draft
Round 2James DanielsChicagoOffensive Line
Round 2Josh JacksonGreen BayDefensive Back
Round 4Josey JewellDenverLinebacker
2017 NFL Draft
Round 3C.J. BeathardSan FranciscoQuarterback
Round 4Jaleel JohnsonMinnesotaDefensive Line
Round 5George KittleSan FranciscoTight End
Round 5Desmond KingLos Angeles ChargersDefensive Back
2016 NFL Draft
Round 7Austin BlytheIndianapolisOffensive Line
2015 NFL Draft
Round 1 (5 overall)Brandon ScherffWashingtonOffensive Line
Round 3Carl DavisBaltimoreDefensive Line
Round 4Andrew DonnalSt. LouisOffensive Line
2014 NFL Draft
Round 3C.J. FiedorowiczHoustonTight End
Round 3Christian KirkseyClevelandLinebacker
Round 4Anthony HitchensDallasLinebacker
2013 NFL Draft
Round 5Micah HydeGreen BayDefensive Back
2012 NFL Draft
Round 1 (23 overall)Riley ReiffDetroitOffensive Line
Round 4Mike DanielsGreen BayDefensive Line
Round 5Adam GettisWashingtonOffensive Line
Round 5Shaun PraterCincinnatiDefensive Back
Round 6Marvin McNutt, Jr.PhiladelphiaWide Receiver
Round 7Jordan BernstineWashingtonDefensive Back
2011 NFL Draft
Round 1 (20 overall)Adrian ClaybornTampa BayDefensive End
Round 4Christian BallardMinnesotaDefensive Line
Round 5Ricky StanziKansas CityQuarterback
Round 5Karl KlugTennesseeDefensive Line
Round 5Julian VanderveldePhiladelphiaOffensive Line
Round 6Tyler SashNew York GiantsDefensive Back
2010 NFL Draft
Round 1 (23 overall)Bryan BulagaGreen BayOffensive Line
Round 2Pat AngererIndianapolisLinebacker
Round 3Amari SpieveyDetroitDefensive Back
Round 4A.J. EddsMiamiLinebacker
Round 6Kyle CallowayBuffaloOffensive Line
2009 NFL Draft
Round 3Shonn GreeneNew York JetsRunning Back
Round 3Bradley FletcherSt. LouisDefensive Back
Round 4Seth OlsenDenverOffensive Line
Round 6Brandon MyersOaklandTight End
2008 NFL Draft
Round 3Charles GodfreyCarolinaDefensive Back
Round 4Ken IwebemaArizonaDefensive End
Round 6Mike HumpalPittsburghLinebacker
2007 NFL Draft
Round 3Marshal YandaBaltimoreOffensive Line
Round 4Scott ChandlerSan DiegoTight End
Round 7Mike ElginNew EnglandOffensive Line
2006 NFL Draft
Round 1 (17 overall)Chad GreenwayMinnesotaLinebacker
Round 3Abdul HodgeGreen BayLinebacker
2005 NFL Draft
Round 2Matt RothMiamiDefensive End
Round 2Jonathan BabineauxAtlantaDefensive Line
Round 4Sean ConsidinePhiladelphiaDefensive Back
Round 6Tony JacksonSeattleTight End
Round 6Pete McMahonOaklandOffensive Line
2004 NFL Draft
Round 1 (2 overall)Robert GalleryOaklandOffensive Line
Round 2Bob SandersIndianapolisDefensive Back
Round 3Nate KaedingSan DiegoKicker
Round 7Jared ClaussTennesseeDefensive Line
Round 7Erik JensenSt. LouisTight End
2003 NFL Draft
Round 1 (24 overall)Dallas ClarkIndianapolisTight End
Round 2Eric SteinbachCincinnatiOffensive Line
Round 2Bruce NelsonCarolinaCenter
Round 5Derek PagelNew York JetsDefensive Back
Round 5Ben SobieskiBuffaloOffensive Line
2002 NFL Draft
Round 2Ladell BettsWashingtonRunning Back
Round 5Aaron KampmanGreen BayDefensive Line
Round 6Kahlil HillAtlantaWide Receiver
2001 NFL Draft
Round 6Kevin KasperDenverWide Receiver
2000 NFL Draft
Round 5Austin WheatleyNew OrleansTight End
Round 6Matt BowenSt. LouisDefensive Back