FOXBORO — New England Patriots’ second-year wide receiver Tre Nixon is the darling among Patriots fans and media right now.
He was drafted in the seventh round in 2021, hand-selected by Ernie Adams as the final draft pick in his career. Nixon had a solid career at Central Florida, but being selected with the 242nd overall comes with a ton of challenges.
Before Nixon heard his name called on draft weekend, he spent two years at Ole Miss and three more at UCF. He appeared in a combined 40 games with 30 starts through his college career and caught 109 passes for 1,671 yards and 13 touchdowns. Although he did put up some worthy numbers - especially after his transfer in 2018 - Nixon also missed six games as a senior due to a broken collarbone.
As a late-round pick, he certainly has some upside to potentially be a No. 3 receiver for a team. Nixon, who stands at 6-2, 187 pounds, ran a 4.44 40-yard dash at his pro day.
After not seeing the field in 2021, even though he stood out on the practice squad, he now holds an opportunity to potentially make the roster. Nixon has proved to be on the same wavelength with Mac Jones and it was obvious in every rep during minicamp.
Jones has been really vocal about his young wide receiver's work ethic.
“Tre came in with me,” Jones said. “We used to drive to the facility every day together last year and then take our COVID test and go to work. He’s a grinder. In the offseason, he’s there with all the guys at the throwing sessions. I don’t think he missed a single one, and he’s been grinding. He needs to continue to do that just like everybody else.”
One of Nixon’s counterparts, Nelson Agholor, discussed his growth and hasn’t seen anyone work as hard as him.
“I’m super excited because I’ve watched him work so hard,” Agholor said. “Honestly, I don’t think there’s anyone who trains as hard as Tre Nixon in my opinion. He’s busted his butt since he’s gotten here. I have a lot of respect for him because all he does is stay quiet and work hard. So I’m happy you guys get a chance to get a glimpse of his hard work.”
The Patriots' receiving core currently consists of DeVante Parker, Agholor, Jakobi Meyers, Kendrick Bourne, Tyquan Thornton, Ty Montgomery, N'Keal Harry, Kristian Wilkerson, Lil'Jordan Humphrey, Malcolm Perry, and of course, Nixon.
Is there a spot for Nixon? Assuming Bill Belichick keeps six receivers on the roster, could Nixon carve out a roster spot? At the moment, it's a crowded receiver room, but perhaps Agholor and/or Harry get traded?