Bo Nix was a college football lifer with an insane glow-up. 

A five-star quarterback prospect, the top dual-threat recruit in the country out of high school, according to his 247 Sports composite rating, the Alabama native stayed local and committed to Auburn. His three-year career there was marked by inconsistency as a passer where his best attribute was perhaps his legs. 

However, that changed at Oregon in his final two years of school as he became a much more efficient quarterback. Nix made quicker decisions, shaving over 0.2 seconds off of his average time to throw, and his production soared as a result. His completion percentage jumped nearly 20%, and Nix's two seasons at Oregon outdid his three years at Auburn across the board. 

Bo Nix collegiate career  

Auburn (2019-2021)Oregon (2022-2023)

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His 2023 season was far and away his best with Nix leading the country with a 77.4% completion percentage, the highest in a single season in college football history, and 51 total touchdowns (45 passing and six rushing). No quarterback has ever entered the NFL Draft with as much experience as Nix given his 61 career starts are the most at the position in college football history. 

Here is a look at the five best fits for the seasoned passer ahead of the 2024 NFL Combine.

5. Cleveland Browns (54th overall pick)

Joe Flacco at age 39 outperformed Deshaun Watson, who is entering his third season of a six-year, $230 million fully guaranteed contract in 2024, as the Browns quarterback. 

Deshaun Watson vs. Joe Flacco in Browns career





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Passer Rating81.790.2

Given the amount of issues Watson has dealt with both off and on the field the last few seasons, it would be wise for the Browns to have a backup plan in place for him. Flacco certainly isn't a long-term player. Drafting Nix would allow for Cleveland to ease him into NFL life while learning under one of the league's more innovative offensive coaches in two-time Coach of the Year Kevin Stefanski. 

Flacco led the NFL in passing yards, and yards per pass attempt on play-action passes from Weeks 13-17 when he entered the starting lineup. Nix had the third-highest passer rating on play-action passes during his Oregon career (since 2022) at the college level. This match is certainly a schematic fit. 

4. New England Patriots (34th overall pick)

Should the Patriots select the best wide receiver and arguably the best overall prospect in the entire 2024 NFL Draft third overall in Ohio State's Marvin Harrison Jr., New England will still need a quarterback. There's where Nix could come into the picture. 

It's hard to project what the situation Nix would be walking into in New England will look like. There's a new offensive coordinator in Alex Van Pelt, plus the team's top two tight ends (Hunter Henry and Mike Gesicki) and both starting offensive tackles (Trent Brown and Mike Onwenu) are going to be free agents. The Patriots are projected to have $69.3 million in effective cap space, according to, which would rank as the second-most in the entire NFL.

New England's roster is guaranteed to look a lot different ahead of the draft in April, but Nix could be the fresh start at quarterback that they need after Mac Jones -- ranked bottom three in NFL in yards per pass attempt (6.1), TD-INT (10-12) and passer rating (77.0) --- and Bailey Zappe -- his eight turnovers from Weeks 14-18 were tied for the second-most in the NFL --  both took turns riding the struggle bus last season. 

3. Minnesota Vikings (42nd overall pick)

Quarterback Kirk Cousins is a free agent and whether or not the Vikings can re-sign him, drafting a quarterback makes sense for Minnesota. If he stays, Nix could learn behind the four-time Pro Bowler. Cousins is also coming off of a torn Achilles injury and turns 36 on Aug. 19. Nix could be a nice short-term insurance plan for Cousins and a long-term, developmental answer at the position.

If Cousins doesn't return, Nix could have the opportunity to throw to one of the best collections of pass-catchers in the entire NFL as a rookie: 2022 NFL Offensive Player of the Year wide receiver Justin Jefferson, two-time Pro Bowl tight end T.J. Hockenson and 2023 first-round pick wide receiver Jordan Addison. Minnesota utilized play action on 21.1% of their offensive plays, the highest rate in the NFL. Nix could thrive here. 

2. Miami Dolphins (55th overall pick)

From a schematic perspective, there might not be a better fit for Nix than the Miami Dolphins. Miami used play-action on 17.6% of its passes, the second-highest rate in the league. The Dolphins also ranked third in the NFL in screen pass rate (9.6%). 

Nix is college football's third-most efficient passer on play-action while ranking eighth in the nation in screen pass efficiency in the same span. Oregon also utilized screen passes on 22.4% of Nix's dropbacks the last two seasons, so he would certainly fit right in with head coach Mike McDaniel's offense that is designed to get his quarterbacks in rhythm while simplifying the post-snap route progression. 

Current Dolphins starter Tua Tagovailoa had a healthy year in 2023 but given his history of concussions and other issues, having an affordable backup to develop just in case of emergency could be a nice spot for Nix to be in at the start of his NFL career.  

1. Pittsburgh Steelers (51st overall pick)

The Pittsburgh Steelers, like the New England Patriots, could offer Nix the opportunity to compete to start right away. Mason Rudolph was able to seize possession of the starting job at the end of last season ahead of 2022 first-round pick Kenny Pickett even after he recovered from an injury.  

The term game manager can be thrown around a lot pejoratively. It certainly was toward San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy for much of the 2023 season. However, Pickett's play fits the negative connotation associated with that phrase. 

Why Kenny Pickett is a game manger in a negative way

  • Lowest touchdown pass rate (1.8%) in NFL history among those with a minimum of 500 career pass attempts.
  • One career game with multiple passing touchdowns in 25 career games
  • 13 passing touchdowns and 13 interceptions in 25 career games
  • The fewest total touchdowns per game (0.63) and turnovers per game (0.46) by any QB since 2000 (minimum 20 starts)
  • Had the third-highest off-target throw rate (13.3%) and the seventh-lowest average pass distance (7.1) among 32 qualified quarterbacks

Pickett's play through two seasons is the definition of not impactful. Nix, on the other hand, is coming off one of the most productive two-season runs in college football of the last few years and could add some more athleticism and dynamic play to Pittsburgh's quarterback position. The Steelers have solid pass-catchers in receivers George Pickens and Diontae Johnson, plus tight end Pat Freiermuth

Their backfield is set with a nice one-two punch of Najee Harris and Jaylen Warren. Their defense is consistently great. They just need the quarterback. Getting Nix in the second round could be a great route for both the prospect and the team.