Original Pick- Joe Mixon, Running Back, Oklahoma
Sometimes, against all odds, franchises pick the right player at the exact right time. That was the case when the Bengals picked up Joe Mixon to be their lead back in the second round, and it’s a decision they shouldn’t second guess.
Mixon has been dynamic thus-far for Cincinnati. In the past two years alone, he’s eclipsed over 1,000 yards rushing despite playing behind a struggling offensive line. His on-the-field impact can’t be denied and that’s before getting to the fact he’s been woefully misused in the passing game. If Zac Taylor finds a way to get him looks in that regard, Mixon will solidify his status as a top-5 running back in the league.
His leadership and attitude can’t be overlooked either. Last season, in an apparently frustrating campaign, many players would have given up. Not the former Sooner stand-out, however. Instead, he got the team to rally around him. Moral victories mean very little in the NFL but Mixon’s actions helped his teammates to remain bought-in to Taylor’s culture and improve down the stretch.
Moving forward, Mixon looks to ease the burden off the next franchise quarterback and remain a cornerstone for the organization.