Position: Running back
School: Oklahoma Sooners
Joe Mixon 2017 NFL Draft Profile
Controversial. That is the first word to come to mind when Joe Mixon’s name is mentioned. The stunning talent possessed by him is as clear as day, but a lot of teams will shy away from his troubled past. Whoever chooses to accept and deal with his baggage, however, will acquire a game changing player.
When watching Joe Mixon run, it’s like seeing a younger version of a current NFL star. Mixon beats defenses with his blend of extreme patience, cuts, stiff arms, and vision. Throw him the ball and he’ll make the catch if it’s anywhere in his radius. This guy can run routes and catch the ball like a wide receiver, which makes him a versatile weapon. If this style sounds familiar, that’s because it is. It’s just like current Pittsburgh Steeler Le’Veon Bell. Bell is arguably the most talented back in the game, and Mixon plays just like him. This should be very attractive to teams with a need at the position.
It’s worth noting that in Oklahoma’s only two losses on the season, Mixon had less than ten carries. He was a large part of the offense and without incorporating him heavily, his team struggled. Mixon’s best game of the season was against Texas Tech, when he had 31 carries for 263 yards. In addition to this spectacular running performance, Mixon posted some big receiving numbers out of the backfield. On just four receptions he went for 114 yards and three touchdowns. His five total house calls in that game pushed his team to a 66-59 win in which he was responsible for almost half of their offense. That takes a special player.
Over the course of the season, Mixon picked up 1,274 yards on just 187 attempts to go with ten rushing scores. Receiving he picked up 538 yards on 37 receptions along with five trips to the end zone. That adds up to 1,812 total yards from scrimmage and 15 combined scores. Mixon also returned some kickoffs, including one for a 97-yard touchdown. His skill was on display in three different facets of the game all season, proving how diverse this running back’s skill set is.
- Incredibly patient.
- Great burst.
- Good vision.
- Hits holes well.
- Fast enough to slip past defenders.
- Insanely good hands.
- Can run routes.
- Capable blocker when needed.
- Character concerns after punching a woman and police run-ins.
- Not as good as an inside runner.
- Has some difficulty on stretch plays.
- Sometimes loses opportunities waiting for bigger holes to develop.
- Relies heavily on his offensive line; can have issues creating play for himself.
NFL Comparison: Le’Veon Bell
Teams with Need a Position: Kansas City Chiefs, Philadelphia Eagles, Detroit Lions, Baltimore Ravens, Jacksonville Jaguars, Carolina Panthers, Washington Redskins, New York Giants, Oakland Raiders, Seattle Seahawks
Projection: Second or third round
Joe Mixon possesses as much talent as he does reason for concern. He is an incredible running back with a diverse skill set and sure to be an asset wherever he lands. But will he be able to control himself off the field? That question is the only thing preventing him from being a sure-fire first round pick. The Oklahoma Sooner has the talent to potentially be the best running back out of this class in three years, but his issues off the field will make his path harder than it needs to be.