Running back Joe Mixon has decided to leave Oklahoma and declare for the NFL Draft. Based on talent, he’s worthy of a first-round pick; based on baggage, he is not.
Ultimately, what will happen to Mixon, who was suspended in 2014 for assaulting a female?
“That’s really becoming a phenomenon with the draft and NFL teams and how they view situations like this,” CBSSports.com’s senior NFL Draft analyst Dane Brugler said on CBS Sports Radio’s The DA Show. “Look at Tyreek Hill last year – a player who, just based on talent, would have been a top-50 draft pick, but had his incident, was kicked off the Oklahoma State team and ends up at West Alabama. Really a forgotten player. Kansas City drafts him on Day 3 late in the draft and they end up getting this outstanding player at a discount. “We’re seeing very talented players drop in the draft and teams take that initial PR hit and still get a very good player at a discount.
“The difference with Joe Mixon is the video,” Brugler continued. “That’s really the damning variable with him. How will that affect Mixon’s draft stock? He’s a first-round player. It’s really going to be interesting to see how his process goes and then how teams evaluate him.”
They will likely evaluate him favorably – at least for on-field performance. Mixon, 20, had 1,800+ total yards and 15 touchdowns this season (10 rushing, five receiving). He also threw a touchdown pass and took a kickoff 97 yards to the house against Ohio State.
“At the end of the day, I think he’s going to be somewhere in the top 100 picks,” Brugler said. “Second or third round, a team will take a chance on him. I’ve had scouts tell me that when they’ve gone through Norman, the Oklahoma coaches have told them that he’s a great kid – one of the best kids on that team – (and that) he just made one unfortunate decision that was deplorable and he’s taken full accountability for that. But they see it as an isolated incident, and so, as long as that holds true and nothing else comes out, I think we’ll see him somewhere in the top 100.”