2017 Rookie Profile: Joe Mixon (Fantasy Football)

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Welcome back to the final installment of the 2017 edition of “Rookie Profile“. In this last version for the new rookie class of this season, we are going to explore the very polarizing and extremely controversial Joe Mixon, the halfback out of the University of Oklahoma. But before we dive into any metrics from Mixon’s pro day, we must speak to the elephant in the room and talk about the “character issues” that Joe will bring along with him in entering Thursday’s NFL draft.

Legal Troubles

2014 Misdemeanor Assault Charge

Mixon entered an Alford Plea to a misdemeanor assault charge in October 2014 for punching a woman named Amelia Molitor in the head, causing broken bones in her face which required hospitalization and surgery. The incident happened on July 25, 2014, at Pickleman’s Gourmet Cafe in Norman, on Campus Corner.

Mixon received a one-year deferred sentence and was ordered to undergo counseling along with 100 hours of community service. Molitor filed suit in federal court against Mixon on July 22, 2016. She accused Mixon of negligence, willful and wanton misconduct, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. A settlement in the case was reached and Mixon apologized to Molitor on April 21, 2017.

2016 Parking Citation Incident

Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops suspended Mixon for one game in 2016 after an incident involving him and a parking attendant. After receiving a parking citation, Mixon confronted the attendant, tore the citation in half, and threw the pieces, which hit her in the face. According to the incident report, he then “inched at the officer” with his vehicle “to intimidate the officer”.

Oklahoma Pro Day
Height/Weight 40-Yard Dash Broad Jump Vertical Jump Bench Press 3-Cone Drill
6'1"/ 227 Pounds 4.43 Seconds 118 Inches 35 Inches 21 Reps 7.00 Seconds

When comparing to the other top RB prospects in this class at the combine, this is how Mixon would have matched up against the others:

  • His 40-yard dash time (4.43) would have been the fourth-fastest time among running backs participating at the NFL Combine. Mixon’s time is the fastest compared to the 40 times from the consensus top running backs in the 2017 draft class (LSU’s Leonard Fournette, Florida State’s Dalvin Cook, Stanford’s Christian McCaffrey, Tennessee’s Alvin Kamara).
  • Mixon’s 35-inch vertical would have been tied for 10th-best at the combine, behind Kamara and McCaffrey but ahead of Cook and Fournette.
  • Bench press was another area of strength for Mixon. His 21 reps would have been tied for sixth-best at the combine. He trailed only Cook among the top four running backs, though Fournette elected to do the bench press at his upcoming pro day.
  • After slipping during his first attempt at the three-cone drill, Mixon had a solid 7.00 time in his second attempt. Mixon once again finished three-tenths ahead of Cook, while McCaffrey had an astonishing 6.57 three-cone drill time.
  • The broad jump is one event Mixon struggled compared to his peers, though this shouldn’t affect his on-field evaluation. His jump of 118 inches would have been tied for 17th-best at the combine. Kamara had the best jump at 10 feet, 11 inches, and McCaffrey jumped three inches further than Mixon, but Mixon finished two inches ahead of Cook.

Based on the results, McCaffrey is likely the best comparison to Mixon of the four running back prospects. This is particularly true given both have extensive collegiate experience as pass catchers and special teams returners. But Mixon also showed Wednesday that he has significantly more strength than McCaffrey and will be a better option for an every-down work.

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Fantasy Outlook

When it comes to Joe Mixon, without all the things that surround him off the field, he would have been considered the absolute best in the class because of his athleticism and his great versatility. But because of these character issues, a lot of his fantasy production is going to be dependent on who decides to draft him and the needs of the team. There has been a lot of talk of bringing in Mixon to the Broncos.  If McCaffery isn’t on the board anymore and Mixon falls in the draft, the Denver Broncos could use him on punt/kick returns, slot receiver packages, and that change of pace back to compliment the bullish workload that CJ Anderson brings to that team. Ultimately, it’s all about placement and what team takes him. The great thing is that we get to find out really soon! The wide scope of this is that Joe could be an Ezekiel Elliott-lite if placed on the right team and be productive right away; a team could also stash him when there is no need for them at the position and it just becomes “best player available” on the draft board, and you see a “prove it” time period for Mixon.

For dynasty owners, it all trickles down to that decision on whether you choose to draft him or not knowing his character issues. If you got for it, he is definitely in talks of being the 1.01-1.06 rookie draft pick. Just depends on your views of him and if you can stomach having him in hopes for a long term investment. I will say if you have the need to strengthen your RB roster for dynasty, I encourage you to grab him. Any of these 4 young halfbacks could really help you in the long run of obtaining multiple championships.

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