Has the length to at least get his hands on pass rushers who are trying to reach the edge, but lacks balance in his lower half and is really susceptible to any kind of counter move. Is really heavy footed when exposed in space and consistently struggles to handle any kind of speed/athleticism in the pass game.
Impression: Looks more like a free-agent size guy at this stage to me."
Hix played in all 13 games as a freshman, starting for the first time in a Holiday Bowl win over Arizona that saw Texas rack up 300 yards on the ground. As a sophomore, he earned a spot on the first-team full time, starting all 13 games at right tackle and taking home the team's Boss Hog Award as the most productive lineman in a defeat of Arkansas. Hix again manned the right side of the line in 2009, remaining healthy all the way through Texas' run to the BCS title game and earning honorable mention All-Big XII honors.
Then, as a senior, Hix was asked to slide over to left tackle to protect first-year quarterback Garrett Gilbert's blindside. His size and experience made the transition relatively seamless, though minor head and knee injuries kept him out of one game entirely and most of another game. Injuries aren't the biggest concern for Hix if he hopes to start at the next level. His lack of natural athleticism and lateral mobility limit his ability to start at tackle, and he his high base makes a move to guard a recipe for disaster without proper coaching. Look for Hix to work hard in some team's camp as a priority free agent, earning a practice squad spot if he improves his technique.
Strengths: Is well built and has a long, durable frame. Has adequate top-end speed and is loaded with experience. Will drive defenders off the ball once he locks on in the run game. Has above-average core strength and will win battles at the point of attack. Finishes blocks and shows aggression when tracking down targets. Possesses a strong initial punch and has shown an ability to anchor against bull rushes. Active in the community and volunteers his time to the Special Olympics.
Weaknesses: Is sluggish out of his stance and can be beaten by speed rushers. Has a heavy lower half and struggles mightily to reach blocks away from his frame. Plods into position and loses balance when attempting to reach the edge. Gets lost in the running game and often misses assignments. Will not sustain blocks and fails to maintain position once he reaches his target. Does not have the lateral mobility to mirror pass rushers and lacks the athleticism to break down and engage defenders at the second level. Lacks a mean streak. Is stiff in the hips and bends at the waist coming out of his stance. Fails to gain initial leverage due to a high base. Takes false steps and overextends, consistently leaving the door open to double moves."
Positive: Massive offensive lineman who is best as a position blocker. Sets with a wide base, keeps his feet moving, and is strong at the point. Gets movement run blocking and drives defenders off the line. Fights with his hands, works to bend his knees, and seals opponents from the action. Effectively works with teammates.
Negative: Lacks overall balance and agility and is not a natural knee bender. Not light on his feet or effective in motion. Lacks the ability to slide out laterally and does not show good blocking range.
Analysis: Hix is a strong offensive tackle who is best on the right side and should develop into a reserve in the NFL."
Negatives: Gets too upright, allows opponents to get underneath him... Waist bender... Not real quick, can be beat by outside speed... Lunges to reach the corner... Marginal lateral range... Can be knocked off his anchor but does a reasonably solid job resetting... Slow and awkward in space... Lacks good flexibility and body control... Doesn't break down well on the move and struggles to hit moving targets."
2009 -- Started every game at RT (14)for the second straight season. Honorable Mention All-Big 12.
Strengths: Huge with an NFL physique. Solid feet and athleticism. Good technician who uses his hands well. Solid functional strength. Gets some push in the run game and moves pretty well for a man his size. Good balance and can pull and run over short distances. Smart in pass protection. Drops well and is alert to stunts and twists. Played both LT and RT.
Weaknesses: Not an elite athlete and lacks the quick feet to play LT; much better suited for the right side. Plays too high in pass protection and can be rocked back by a strong bullrush.
Projection: RT prospect who will likely go in the fourth round area. Not flashy, but very effective and has a chance to become a decent starter."
From that point on, Hix was a staple in the starting lineup until he finally missed a start in mid-November of the 2010 campaign. That was 37 starts in a row before missing the Oklahoma State game in 2010 with a concussion. During that time Hix has been an extremely productive player on an extremely productive offense. The Longhorns went to a BCS game in 2008 and played the BCS National Championship in 2009. The offense was always a huge part of Texas' success. Between the 2009 and the 2010 season, Hix moved from right tackle to left tackle.
At 6-7 and 325 pounds, Hix has the size to play at either tackle spot at the next level. The move has come at a bad time for Hix as the Texas team has struggled in 2010 and may not even reach a bowl game and that has hurt his stock. Hix is not the strongest or quickest tackle around and will likely have some trouble protecting the quarterback's blindside at the next level; that makes him strictly a right tackle and will likely drop him down to the late rounds."
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