Joe Mixon will not be returning to the Oklahoma football program in 2017.
On Thursday, ESPN.com reported Mixon has informed the Sooners that he will forgo his final year of eligibility to declare for the NFL draft. Mixon’s career in Norman comes to an end after video of a 2014 incident where he viciously struck a woman surfaced and led to plenty of discussion about his future as a pro.
Mixon is undoubtedly one of the top running backs available in a loaded 2017 class, but his off-field missteps could lead to a draft day slide.
Before Mixon announced his intentions to go pro, NFL Draft analyst Tony Pauline indicated the junior could go undrafted.
Pauline cited comments from NFL general managers who suggested Mixon should return to Oklahoma for his final year to show he has continued to mature. Not only did the general managers suggest Mixon would go undrafted, they reportedly told his inner circle that he wouldn’t even be considered as an undrafted free agent.
Whether that proves to be true remains to be seen, but it will definitely be a story that continues to be discussed throughout the entire draft process.
In the final game of his college career, a win over the Auburn Tigers in the Allstate Sugar Bowl, the controversial running back totaled 180 yards and two touchdowns.
Mixon will have plenty of questions to answer when he sits down to meet with NFL teams.