One of the most widely-covered stories of the 2017 offseason has been the saga of Oklahoma Sooners running back Joe Mixon. Mixon is one of the most controversial prospects in the entire 2017 NFL Draft. While he possesses a plethora of natural gifts, his future is in question after video was released of Mixon striking a female student. The NFL does not take lightly to domestic violence, so he was expected to plummet down draft boards. Now, as the draft approaches, teams may be willing to look past this issue in order to add his talents to their roster.
Reportedly, the Minnesota Vikings, New Orleans Saints, Cincinnati Bengals, Philadelphia Eagles and Oakland Raiders have all done extensive research on Mixon and are strongly considering selecting him if he falls out of the first round.
It remains to be seen if Mixon is still on the draft board of these teams after an account of him hitting a female in high school was released.
— NBC Sports (@NBCSports) April 19, 2017
If this story were found to be true, Mixon would be almost untouchable in the draft, but the man who accused him of this quickly recanted his story.
Clearly, the journey of Mixon continues to be confusing and intriguing.
Without the domestic violence charge, Mixon would be a surefire first-round selection in the draft. He is electric when he touches the football. He is an all-around, Le’Veon Bell-like player who can change a team’s rushing woes in an instant. But, his character issues really leave a cloud around his football future.
It appears Mixon will find himself with a new home if the new allegations of abuse are indeed false. Some teams are able to look past a situation like this, as they feel he can redeem himself or will receive the correct help at the professional level.
It is tough for this sort of situation to be forgotten, but players have been given second chances after worse offenses. His age makes it possible for him to turn everything around, so teams may be willing to take the risk. Nothing is going to keep the team that drafts Mixon from facing a firestorm of criticism, but some may not care. He could still end up falling out of the draft entirely or he could also be taken on the first day, but no one will find that out until the 2017 NFL Draft concludes.
Caleb Ikerd is the lead staff writer for the Indianapolis Colts, Indiana Hoosiers, Oklahoma Sooners and Minnesota Vikings at Endzone Score. Follow him on Twitter @calikerd.