The New England Patriots have become known for making no-name players into stars who will be remembered in Patriots lore for eternity. Tre Nixon will look to be the latest player to become loved by fans in New England.
Nixon was the seventh-round selection by the Patriots in the 2021 NFL Draft. He was hand-picked by Ernie Adams and spent last season on the practice squad.
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But this season Nixon has been making waves and he has caught the attention of Bill Belichick. The Patriots head coach discussed Nixon before the start of training camp on Tuesday.
“Yeah, Tre’s worked very hard, too,” Belichick said. “He’s one of the hardest working kids we have on our team. Had a good spring, had a productive spring. Again, it’s the same things we’ve said about Mac [Jones] — he’s way ahead of where he was last year in terms of his physical strength, speed, quickness, route technique, understanding of the offense, defense, so forth. And so, hopefully he’ll continue to make progress as we transfer that into competitive, on-field situations, but he’s certainly prepared himself as well as he can to do that. And he’ll be in a good competitive situation.”
What Does Mac Jones Think About Nixon?
Jones and Nixon have built quite the relationship. The two used to travel to the Patriots facility during their rookie seasons.
“He adds that good speed to the group,” Jones said about Nixon. “He’s a nice complement, and hopefully he’ll be able to continue to grow like everybody else and we can kind of have a full group here where we can substitute in and out and let those guys go make the plays.”
Nixon has also shown up in throwing sessions with Jones before the start of training camp.
But Jones hasn’t been the only player in New England to praise Nixon. Nelson Agholor was also impressed by his fellow wide receiver.
“I’m super excited because I’ve watched him work so hard. Honestly, I don’t think there’s anyone who trains as hard as Tre Nixon in my opinion,” Agholor said during minicamp. “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.”
Who Will Nixon Compete Against to Make the Active Roster?
The path to making the 53-man roster won’t be easy for Nixon. One of New England’s deepest positions happens to be wide receiver.
DeVante Parker will be leading the way for New England as a big threat for Jones to throw to. Parker is now the only wide receiver on the Patriots roster to ever eclipse 1,000 yards in a single season. Jakobi Meyers and Kendrick Bourne will also look to build off impressive seasons in 2021. Meyers led receivers in yards (866) and Bourne led receivers in touchdowns (5).
So, while members of the Patriots organization seem to love Nixon, his spot on the final roster is far from guaranteed.