Leonard Fournette, Christian McCaffrey, Dalvin Cook… Joe Mixon?
Most NFL and college football fans have heard the first three names mentioned before. These prospects have been considered the running backs that will be selected first in the fast approaching NFL Draft.
Over the past few months there has been debate over which of the trio is the best. Leonard Fournette from LSU was the consensus top RB prospect at the beginning of the draft process. Draft experts then started debating if Cook should be considered over the LSU back. Recently, however it is Mccafrey’s stock whose is rising as far as a top ten lock over the past few weeks.
All three of the star collegiate running backs ooze with talent and headline this years extremely deep running back class.
However, there is another prospect whose on the field abilities may surpass every other running back in this draft. His name is Joe Mixon.
We all know the situation Joe Mixon the person put himself in off the field, so I won’t beat a dead horse here. But, unlike the other running backs mentioned, you rarely here pundits talk about the actual talent of Mixon.
So let me introduce you to Joe Mixon, the football player.
ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr had this to say regarding the Sooner tail back. “On talent, he’s the best running back in the draft. On talent, and on ability, the kid averaged over 6 yards a carry in 9 games this year, he averaged almost 15 yards a catch, he had a 97-yard kickoff return against Ohio State, he’s 228 pounds and he ran 4.43. He was a top kid coming out of high school, so he’s an elite–like [Leonard] Fournette–to me he’s a better back than Fournette, on talent.”
Now you factor in the off-the-field issue, which was as you know, very serious … “
Boasting a 6’1 230 pound frame, Mixon is the same size as Fournette, while running faster than both FSU’s Dalvin Cook and Stanford’s McCaffrey at his pro day with an unofficial 4.43 40 yard dash time.
The Oklahoma Sooners star backs these impressive physical numbers up with outstanding tape. He is consistently patient at the line of scrimmage in order to chose the right hole to hit. Mixon then uses his agility, power and speed to break medium to long runs consistently, averaging nearly seven yards per carry this past season.
Think about that for a second, that equates to a first down every two carries.
Mixon is also a natural catcher of the football out of the backfield. He caught the ball 37 times for 538 yards this season to post an outstanding average of 14.5 yards per catch.
Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller compared the playing style and traits of Mixon to that of All-Pro NFL back Leveon Bell. Although Miller, like some NFL front offices, would have reservations about taking him in the draft.
This week, six of eleven NFL teams have said that Mixon is off of their boards, reported by nfl.com.
Mixon’s main goal during this draft process has been allowing teams to “get to know him.”
He followed up by saying, “Everybody has seen everything. Everybody knows what’s going on. At the end of the day, sit in front of them, look them in the eye, have them get a feel for me.”