Should The Bengals Consider Drafting Joe Mixon?

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Jan 2, 2017; New Orleans , LA, USA; Oklahoma Sooners running back Joe Mixon (25) runs the ball against Auburn Tigers defensive lineman Carl Lawson (55) in the third quarter of the 2017 Sugar Bowl at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 2, 2017; New Orleans , LA, USA; Oklahoma Sooners running back Joe Mixon (25) runs the ball against Auburn Tigers defensive lineman Carl Lawson (55) in the third quarter of the 2017 Sugar Bowl at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports /
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Should The Bengals Consider Drafting Joe Mixon?
Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports /

Why Take The Risk?

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Mixon is an all-purpose back. He is an extremely talented runner, pass catcher, and blocker. He fits into a variety of pro-style schemes and has the natural instincts of a top-tier running back. During his 2015 campaign, he rushed for 753 yards with an impressive 6.7 YPC average. He scored 11 total touchdowns. In 2016, he ran for 1,274 yards and upped his YPC average to 6.8 while scoring 15 total touchdowns. He also returned 21 punts for 494 yards and a touchdown in 2015 as well. Mixon’s multitude of abilities has led to comparisons of a player that Bengals fans are very familiar with: Le’Veon Bell.

Other Comparisons

The Mixon situation has been compared to that of two other talented players with violence on their resume: Ray Rice and Tyreke Hill. Rice had a successful career as a running back for the Baltimore Ravens until one fateful night in 2014 when he knocked his wife unconscious. At first, a minor suspension was levied, but similar to the Mixon incident, a video of the punch later surfaced. Upon seeing the sheer brutality of the act, a much harsher punishment was given to Rice. He would never again find work in the NFL.

Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill faced an even more similar situation to Mixon’s. Hill entered the draft with charges of domestic violence looming over him. Hill pled guilty to a disturbing December 11, 2014, altercation that involved his pregnant girlfriend. The incident undoubtedly hurt his draft stock. This culminated in a slide to the fifth round of the draft. As seen by his play on the field in the 2016 season with Kansas City, Hill is a talented player that could have gone much higher in the draft if not for the domestic violence on his record. Mixon will also face some sort of slide due to his actions, the only question is how much?

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