Joe Mixon is the most polarizing figure in the upcoming 2017 NFL Draft class. Given his history of violence against women, it’s hard to nail down exactly how NFL teams view the former Oklahoma running back. According to some reports, he’s going to go no lower than the second round. Other reports indicate he won’t be drafted at all.
In a poll conducted by Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, six out of 11 NFL executives stated they wouldn’t draft Mixon “under any circumstance.”
“Six personnel men said they had made the decision not to draft Mixon under any circumstances. Of the three that would select Mixon, one said first round and two said third round. Two executives declined to comment.”
Here’s what one AFC executive told McGinn:
“He will not be on my board. Impulsive violence against a defenseless woman. I believe in forgiveness, but this is not a matter of forgiveness. It’s natural consequences for an action. I wish him well. … Once you watch it you become a witness. I don’t need someone else telling me what happened. Maybe I don’t know all the circumstances before and after. A lot of times you’re not sure what really happened. This one, I saw it. He’s had some other times where he’s snapped. Not this heinous. I’ve got to look my wife in the eye. That’s not what I’m about.”
Of further concern, aside from the highly publicized Amelia Monitor attack, Mixon has a shady bit of past from his high school days. He was accused of hitting a girl back then as well, and her father was quite adamant that he had done so. However, more recently he recanted the incident as he became aware it was affecting Mixon’s draft stock. Mixon’s agent has adamantly denied anything occurred as well (more on that here).
Is Mixon talented enough to make a big impact in the NFL? Absolutely. But should he?
In theory, fans overwhelmingly don’t want their teams to draft players with a history of violence against women, according to a recent poll. This is another thing teams need to wrestle with. Is drafting such a player worth the risk?
It’s going to be very interesting to see how the draft unfolds for Mixon. A top talent who would almost certainly be a first-round pick if not for his glaring red flag, could he really watch the entire draft without hearing his name called?