QB Bo Nix Rejuvenated His Collegiate Career at Oregon, but Will His Skills Translate to the NFL?

Oregon quarterback Bo Nix walks off the field after the the No. 6 Oregon Ducks defeated the No. 16 Oregon State Beavers Friday, Nov. 24, 2023, at Autzen Stadium in Eugene, Ore.

A big point of discussion during this upcoming offseason inevitably will involve the Vikings quarterback position.

Kirk Cousins’ contract comes to an end at the conclusion of the 2023 league year, and they have yet to find a true replacement for him moving forward. Could the latest star QB for the Oregon Ducks, Bo Nix, be a solution? In the next installment of the Vikings Draft Thermometer series, we will discuss his career rejuvenation, and how his skillset can translate to the NFL level.


Bo Nix
Dec 1, 2023; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Oregon Ducks quarterback Bo Nix (10) drops back to pass against the Washington Huskies in the first half at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
  • Height: 6’2″
  • Weight: 218
  • Arm Length: 30 1/4″
  • Hand Size: 9 7/8″
  • Wingspan: 74 3/8″
  • 40-Yard Dash: TBD
  • School: Auburn (2019-2021), Oregon (2022-2023)
  • Games Watched: Utah (2023), USC (2023), Oregon State (2023), Washington (2023)

Bo Nix has had one wild journey towards becoming an NFL prospect. He committed to Auburn after receiving a four-star rating from 247 Sports and was the 62nd overall recruit in the Class of 2019.

Immediately, Nix jumped into the starting spot for the Tigers, but his career ended up being a bit disappointing at Auburn. He threw for 39 touchdowns and 16 interceptions over the course of three seasons. In total, Auburn went 21-16 during Nix’s tenure as the starter.

Nix then transferred to Oregon in 2022, and in a more QB-friendly system under Dan Lanning, Nix has found much more success with the Ducks. Over two seasons there, he has thrown for 7738 yards, 69 TDs, and 10 interceptions. The QB has been a much more accurate passer at Oregon, completing 77.2% of his passes this seasons while rushing for 777 yards and 20 TDs during his time with the Ducks.

Now, the QB heads into a 2024 NFL Draft loaded with talent at the position. How does the Oregon Duck stack up against the competition?


Dec 1, 2023; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Oregon Ducks quarterback Bo Nix (10) prepares to hike the ball against the Washington Huskies during the third quarter at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports


  • 2019: 217/377 (57.6%), 2542 yards, 16 TDs, 6 INTs (13 games)
  • 2020: 214/357 (59.9%), 2415 yards, 12 TDs, 7 INTs (11 games)
  • 2021: 197/323 (61%), 2294 yards, 11 TDs, 3 INTs (10 games)
  • 2022: 294/409 (71.9%), 3593 yards, 29 TDs, 7 INTs (13 games)
  • 2023: 364/470 (77.4%), 4508 yards, 45 TDs, 3 INTs (14 games)


  • 2019: 86 carries, 429 yards, 7 TDs, 11 fumbles (13 games)
  • 2020: 92 carries, 480 yards, 7 TDs, 3 fumbles (11 games)
  • 2021: 52 carries, 268 yards, 4 TDs, 6 fumbles (10 games)
  • 2022: 91 carries, 519 yards, 14 TDs, 1 fumble (13 games)
  • 2023: 54 carries, 256 yards, 6 TDs, 2 fumbles (14 games)


Oregon quarterback Bo Nix looks down field against Eastern Washington during the first quarter at Autzen Stadium on Saturday, Sept 10, 2022.

Nix has an innate ability to hit receivers in stride in the short passing game. He gets the ball out quickly, giving receivers time to pick up yards after the catch. When asked, he is capable of uncorking a deep ball, but this was not required of him very often in Oregon’s scheme.

A savvy veteran at the college level, Nix also stands in the pocket and isn’t afraid to face pressure. It didn’t happen often behind a strong Oregon o-line, but he completed 37 of his 51 passes under pressure (per PFF) for 534 yards, six touchdowns, and no interceptions.

When protection breaks down, Nix has proven himself as a very capable athlete as well. His mobility allows him to pick up plenty of chunk yards with his legs, giving him another element that opposing defenses will have to think about when planning against him.


Jan 1, 2024; Glendale, AZ, USA; Oregon Ducks quarterback Bo Nix (10) throws against the Liberty Flames during the 2024 Fiesta Bowl at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Nix’s completion percentage skyrocketed over his two years at Oregon, but that came with the caveat of his average depth of target (ADOT) plummeting. After averaging 9.0 yards during the 2021 season at Auburn, his ADOT dropped more than one and a half yards to 7.4 in 2022 and fell even further to 6.8 during the 2023 season.

This is because Oregon allowed Nix to implement a ton of checkdown passes in their scheme if his first read was covered. 130 of Nix’s 470 pass attempts were to a target behind the line of scrimmage, the second-most of any FBS quarterback in 2023. Meanwhile, he attempted just 51 passes that traveled 20+ yards through the air, ranking 51st in the FBS.

While Nix can be an assassin in the short passing game, this inability (or at least unwillingness) to push the ball downfield could cost him at the NFL level. We’ve seen QBs make this sort of playstyle work (late-career Drew Brees comes to mind), but at age 24 and already being forced to commit to a short game in college, how much can he really spread the field at the NFL level?

NFL Projection

Jan 1, 2024; Glendale, AZ, USA; Oregon Ducks quarterback Bo Nix (10) celebrates against the Liberty Flames during the 2024 Fiesta Bowl at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
  • Draft Stock: Third Round
  • Immediate Role: Backup QB, could start in the right scheme
  • NFL Comp: Marcus Mariota
  • Vikings Draft Thermometer: 20

Overall, Nix has plenty of traits that could turn him into a viable NFL quarterback. His mobility and sharp accuracy make him an intriguing draft candidate, especially when the second day rolls around. However, it is concerning that he never truly refined his skills through five years as a collegiate quarterback. Oregon simplified a lot of the mental game, so he could simply focus on getting the ball to his playmakers as quickly as possible. Nix is the biggest question mark of the top six QBs in this draft in terms of his potential.

If the goal for the Vikings is to get away from a passer like Kirk Cousins, who can find himself stuck in checkdown zone at times, Nix probably isn’t the guy.

Editor’s Note: Statistics for this article were found via 247 SportsPro Football Focus and Sports Reference CFB.

Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho and managing editor of PurplePTSD.com. When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys running, gaming, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. Check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.