Some NFL teams pick up players solely due to potential and the athlete that they present themselves as. Such may be the case with the marriage between the Cardinals and James Nixon, a football player who does a little bit of everything coming out of California University in Pennsylvania. Nixon is primarily listed as a cornerback, but during his collegiate career at both Cal. U (Pa.) and Temple (where he played for the first three years), he played numerous positions.
Find out more about Nixon after the jump.
Here is what the Arizona Cardinals press release has to say on Nixon:
Cornerback JAMES NIXON (6-1, 190) from California (Pa.) was a three-year player at Temple before transferring to play his last season with the Vulcans. Last season, he played in 12 games at California (Pa.) with two starts and had 14 tackles with one pass defensed as well as three kickoff returns for 59 yards. At Temple, he played in 37 games (10 starts) on offense and defense and special teams. As a kick returner, Nixon had 41 returns for 1,058 yards (25.8 yard avg.) to go along with 42 carries for 322 yards and 13 receptions for 373 yards.
To list him as a cornerback is almost insulting. He only started two games in the secondary during his senior season and racked up just 14 total tackles. This player is so versatile that if you place him on the field at any position, he is bound to make an impact. He is a bit of a jack of all trades, but a master of none.
At his two pro days, Nixon came in at just about 6'0" tall, 178 pounds and his 40-yard dash time was a blazing 4.31 seconds. He also managed to put up 14 reps of 225 pounds on the bench.
Here is a good highlight video of Nixon as a running back at Temple:
To me, Nixon would basically fill the same type of role that LaRod Stephens-Howling has on this roster, along with the ability to play defense as well. He can return kicks, play corner, or run the ball in special packages as well. There are just so many options with an athlete of this caliber.
All of that being said, I don't know if there is a roster spot available for Nixon. Yes, he is a strong athlete, but the Cards are looking for skill position players. He will need to show that he can clearly fill a role on this football team where there is a gap. He will get that opportunity during training camp, so it will be interesting to see what happens with him.
What do you think? Does James Nixon have a shot at making the Cardinals roster in any fashion?