Despite only playing in six games last year, Joe Mixon of the Cincinnati Bengals made the top ten of Maurice Jones-Drews’ running back rankings. The former NFL running back ranked all 32 starting backs and put Mixon at No. 9 on the list.
Here was what Jones-Drew had to say about why he put Mixon where he did:
"After missing 10 games in 2020 due to a foot injury, Mixon is in a good position to thrive as the Bengals’ featured three-down back with the departure of Giovani Bernard. I truly believe he is the best receiving threat out of the backfield — yes, even better than Christian McCaffrey and Alvin Kamara — and we’ll finally get to see his ability on full display. Having a healthy Joe Burrow, a revamped offensive line under the direction of new OL coach Frank Pollack and a loaded receiving corps only helps Mixon’s cause."
This is a very nice ranking for Mixon considering he played in only six games and missed the rest of the year due to injury. In the two seasons before that though, Mixon rushed for over 1,100 yards and was one of the few bright spots on the Bengals’ roster.
The Cincinnati Bengals have a top-10 running back with Joe Mixon on their team.
The Bengals should have a decent offense this year and Mixon will play a huge part in that. MJD touched on that in his write-up with the comments about how the new-look offensive line and one of the best receiver rooms in the league will only help Mixon flourish.
Above Mixon on the list were (in this order): Derrick Henry, Christian McCaffrey, Alvin Kamara, Dalvin Cook, Nick Chubb, Ezekiel Elliott, Saquon Barkley, and Aaron Jones, which shows he’s well-respected in this league. He’s yet to make a Pro Bowl in his career but maybe this is the year for Mixon and he certainly has the offense to put up career numbers.
Injuries are the biggest worry with Mixon in 2021, as he’s coming off of a foot injury that he sustained last October. That foot injury kept him out of the duration of the season and while Samaje Perine was a respectable backup, he doesn’t offer what Mixon does.
Hopefully Mixon can stay healthy this year because the Bengals need him to compete in the brutal AFC North.