The video of Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon punching a young lady was so offensive that he wasn’t invited to the NFL Combine. Despite that, he is a first round talent. I think he’s the best running back coming out in this year’s draft.
First of all, he has a NFL running back body. A body that hasn’t taken nearly as many hits as Christian McCaffrey, who has been touching the ball 300 times a year. Mixon doesn’t have three shoulder surgeries like Dalvin Cook. Plus he’s bigger than either of them, carrying 226 pounds of muscle with a thick upper body and lower body. He outweighs McCaffrey by 24 pounds and outweighs Cook by 12.
Mixon can drop his shoulder and get extra yardage because of the power in his lower body, while neither McCaffrey nor Cook can run with power. McCaffrey wasn’t running over anybody in college at 202 pounds and Cook wasn’t running anybody over with his three shoulder surgeries. Plus, their lack of size and strength will make both of them liabilities as pass blockers. Mixon has the size and strength to stand in there and pick up a blitzing linebacker.
On top of the size advantage he has over them, Mixon is also faster than either of the smaller backs. He ran a 4.43 at his Pro Day, which is better than McCaffrey’s 4.48 or Cook’s 4.49. Mixon’s speed isn’t just a testing speed. If you look at his tape, the guy plays fast.
Coaches have talked about his soft hands and his ability run routes. The young man is explosive with a sudden burst when he needs to get to the corner, or outrun a defender.
More than any other back in this draft, Mixon is a true three-down back, who could dominate a game as a ball carrier or pass catcher. I couldn’t see the Birds drafting Mixon in the first round, but in the second, he is too good to pass up, even with his baggage. The guy has All-Pro type potential.
The Eagles must do their homework on this young man. They’ve got to talk to him and then talk to everybody that knows him. Last year the Chiefs drafted a game breaker in Tyreek Hill in the fifth round. He had a lot to do with Kansas City’s success and he may be the most explosive player in the league. They got him with a fifth round pick and it was arguably the best draft pick in last year’s draft.
Maybe Mixon, who made an awful mistake when he punched that young lady, may be a great pick in the second round, but the Eagles have to do their homework and make sure he won’t make an awful mistake like that again.