Joe Mixon’s name will be discussed constantly leading up to and throughout the 2017 NFL Draft.
The talented running back’s ability is doubted by none, but the assault charge against Amelia Molitor and the shocking video footage that accompanied it will likely cause his draft stock to plummet. Mixon will provide huge potential value on the field for the team willing to bite the bullet from the endless stream of protesters and negative PR they are sure to receive for welcoming him to their team.
Off the field incidents aside, there is little doubt that Mixon is among the best at his position in this years draft.
And according to ESPN draft guru Mel Kiper Jr., he is the best.
From TheBigLead‘s Jason Lisk:
“On talent, he’s the best running back in the draft. On talent, and on ability, the kid averaged over 6 yards a carry in 9 games this year, he averaged almost 15 yards a catch, he had a 97-yard kickoff return against Ohio State, he’s 228 pounds and he ran 4.43. He was a top kid coming out of high school, so he’s an elite–like [Leonard] Fournette–to me he’s a better back than Fournette, on talent.
Mixon was given a first-round draft grade by the NFL Draft Advisory Committee. The narrative has continued to bring him closer and closer to that being his likely landing spot as the draft draws near.
For a time, it was assumed that Mixon would be taken in the third round, then the second round, and now some speculate he might be taken late in the first round. Kiper is among the best in the business in gauging player interest going into the draft, and if he believes that Mixon will be gone by the third round, that will likely be the case.
How much teams will be willing to overlook can not be truly known.