Saints HC Sean Payton tells Nick Underhill that they plan to bring in Oklahoma RB Joe Mixon for a pre-draft visit and plan to get to know him.
Mixon has visited with the Chargers, Raiders, Bengals and Broncos this month and Aditi Kinkhabwala reported that the Lions, Saints, Bengals and Browns all met with Mixon privately before his Pro Day.
Mike Freeman previously spoke to sources around the league who have told him that Mixon is moving up draft boards, despite the obvious concerns that come with drafting him.
The belief that the fallout from Mixon’s video in which he punches a female student in the face would have a similar impact on him that it had on Ray Rice doesn’t appear to be the case, according to Freeman.
Instead, Freeman says that Mixon has impressed teams during his meetings and some teams have told him that there’s “no player is moving up draft boards faster than Mixon.” It’s possible Mixon could end up being a second-round pick or possibly even a late first-rounder pick when all is said and done.
Although, based on interviews he’s done, Freeman says that the NFL doesn’t want to see Mixon drafted, as it would undermine their efforts to curb violence against women.
While there was some talk that Mixon could go undrafted after the video of the incident in which he punched a female student was released a few months ago, it now appears as though Mixon has a good chance of being selected as early as day two of this year’s draft.
Tom Pelissero of USA Today believes Mixon will either be drafted in the second- or third-round of this year’s draft after speaking to GMs and scouts at Combine.
The NFL did not invite Mixon to the Combine last week, which actually drew some criticism from people around the league, seeing as he didn’t get an opportunity to face tough questions stemming from the incident that occurred a few years ago.
Some NFL evaluators believe he’s the most talented running back in this year’s draft class while others view him as a first-round talent. There’s no question that some teams won’t have him on their draft board at all, but it appears as though there’s a good chance some team will believe the reward far out ways the risk of drafting him.
It’s worth mentioning that Mixon has completed all his court-mandated requirements and is continuing to attend anger management classes, according to his agent.
In case you haven’t seen the video of the incident, The Oklahoman has it posted on their website.
Mixon punched an Oklahoma student, Amelia Molitor, in the face back in 2014 and was suspended from the football team for a season. However, the school allowed him to return after sitting out that season.
Molitor suffered fractured bones in her face from the incident and is currently suing Mixon in Oklahoma City federal court. Mixon just offered an apology to Molitor, his teammates and fans a few months ago.
During his college career at Oklahoma, Mixon has rushed for 2,027 yards on 301 carries (6.7 YPC) to go along with 65 receptions for 894 yards receiving and 26 total touchdowns over the courses of 25 games. Mixon has also contributed 504 kick return yards and a touchdown.
We’ll have more regarding Mixon as the news is available.