More than 30 running back prospects will run through drills at the NFL Scouting Combine this Friday. Joe Mixon will not be among them, and several NFL shot-callers are not happy about that.
Mixon, a former Oklahoma running back, is perhaps the most controversial player in the 2017 NFL Draft. Many scouts have him rated as a first- or second-rounder based on talent, but his significant off-the-field baggage has caused his stock to plummet.
Mixon was arrested in 2014 for punching a woman in the head at a Norman, Okla., restaurant. Video of the incident was released in December, and the NFL made the decision not to invite the 20-year-old to its annual prospect showcase.
Speaking Wednesday at Indianapolis’ Lucas Oil Stadium — the site of the combine — multiple coaches and executives expressed their displeasure at the fact they will not be able to evaluate Mixon this week.
“We’re going to leave the door open on Joe. I think it’s really disappointing that Joe’s not here,” Detroit Lions general manager Bob Quinn told reporters, via CBSSports.com. “You know, we come here to see the best college football players. So there’s 330, 340 some-odd players here, and for him not being here because of those issues, personally I don’t think that’s real fair, because we have a lot of investigation that we want to do on him.
“To get him in one spot for all the teams would have been great.”
Kansas City Chiefs coach Andy Reid had a similar take on his situation.
“I think if you handle yourself the right way — if you’ve been in trouble and you handle yourself the right way, positive things can happen for you,” Reid told reporters in Indianapolis. “We’re in America, and America is forgiving to a point. But you can’t go backward. You’ve got to stay forward.
“Most of those guys will probably have an opportunity. The coaches, scouts and general managers are going to have to go to them or have them come into their facility to take care of business. I’m sure a few, I don’t know all of the guys that are out there, but I’m sure they’ll get a look.”
Reid’s team has experience with players who have run afoul with the law, having drafted receiver/return man Tyreek Hill in the fifth round last year. Hill pled guilty to domestic violence charges during his time at Oklahoma State. He thrived as a rookie with the Chiefs, earning first-team All-Pro honors as a punt returner.
“Listen, Tyreek turned out pretty good,” Reid told reporters.
Mixon is scheduled to work out for NFL talent evaluators March 8 at Oklahoma’s pro day.
Thumbnail photo via Mark D. Smith/USA TODAY Sports Images