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With the 2017 NFL Draft less than three weeks away in Philadelphia, the most controversial—yet talented—player in the draft in Joe Mixon, is the most polarizing.
By now, we have all seen the unfortunate video of Mixon striking a woman during his freshman year at Oklahoma. Consequently, breaking four bones in her face. Ultimately causing his potential draft stock to drop. In addition, teams such as the New England Patriots reportedly taking him off their boards. Nevertheless, the market for a prospect of Mixon’s skill set is dwindling fast.
And understandably, so, with all the greater attention and focus on how the NFL addresses domestic violence, thanks to the Ray Rice video of him assaulting his then-fiancée Janee in an Atlantic City elevator.
Combine that with the NFL having the largest female fanbase in all of sports. Whichever team does decide to roll the dice on Mixon, will immediately be marked as a proverbial pariah.
For a team to want to gamble on his on-field talent in drafting Joe Mixon, they would have to have a need at running back; need to infuse some talent, low expectations and a chance to start immediately.
Which brings me to my Cleveland Browns.
Cleveland doesn’t necessarily NEED another running back thanks to already having Isaiah Crowell and Duke Johnson. However, the addition of Mixon would take some of the load off, Crowell. Additionally, it would keep Johnson fresh on passing downs.
After a 1-15 record—but a young and promising roster that features WR Corey Coleman, DE/LB Emmanuel Ogbah, QB Cody Kessler along with the aforementioned Johnson and Crowell–there will be an opportunity for Mixon to come in, compete and contribute immediately.
While I am not a fan of Cleveland taking a player like Joe Mixon and dealing with his off-the-field baggage. Especially, two years after witnessing the train wreck that was Johnny Manziel flame out. As a result, the Browns may seem a little gun-shy about bringing in another potentially good player with character issues.
The Browns have five picks in the first three rounds. Cleveland could go in several directions in terms of building the offense while addressing the defense.
I’m not saying that Cleveland shouldn’t take a flyer on Joe Mixon—preferably in the later rounds—but if they were to take him, say in the top of the second, then that might bring a lot of unwanted negative attention, as well external backlash over his selection.
Make no mistake, the talent is there. But sadly, thanks to the hyper-sensitive, light-triggered and easily outraged society we live in today, I feel that it would be a wasted pick. For the simple, reason that would be nothing more than a proverbial headache and more trouble than it’s worth.