Packers X-Factor: Keisean Nixon
To his credit, Keisean Nixon has looked very natural playing from the slot this offseason. But, it’s important to keep in mind that this is also going to be his first time truly being the guy at a position on the defensive side of the ball since he entered the NFL, and he starts off with having to face Darnell Mooney and DJ Moore.
"“Talking about traits and attributes in players,” said Joe Barry about Nixon, “the one thing that you guys know about Keisean is that he’s very confident. He’s confident in his abilities and what he can do. But I definitely think it’s helped that we made the decision early on in the offseason that he was going to be our nickel. “So it’s not one of those things that we kind of fell into it or he was a second-team guy that won the job, really from our first OTA day back in May, Keisean has been our starting nickel, and he’s gotten the exclusive work the last six months with our starting group. So that’s been huge.”"
Mooney spent about 60 percent of his snaps in the slot last season, and is a high-volume target for this Bears offense who can win inside and out, attacking the short and intermediate routes with YAC potential. Moore is primarily a boundary target but has spent roughly one-third of his career snaps inside, according to PFF.
I wouldn’t be surprised if Moore sees more snaps from the slot than usual in an effort to line up away from Jaire Alexander and Rasul Douglas. We saw it last season, with Alexander and Douglas on the boundary, opponents chose to test Nixon inside.