The 2017 NFL Draft is nearly here. Is drafting Oklahoma running back, Joe Mixon worth the risk?
One of the best running backs in the draft is Joe Mixon from Oklahoma. His talent alone makes him a first round pick, however, his off the field issues has severely weakened his draft stock. The question is, would the New England Patriots take a flier on the running back if he was still on the board in later rounds?
Bill Belichick loves to get value in his draft picks. The Patriots have been known to trade down and go after a player they think fits their system. With it still being unknown whether or not LeGarrette Blount will return next season, drafting a running back may be a priority for New England. From the looks of it, the Patriots could find great value in Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon if he free falls like many expect he will.
Mixon assaulted a young woman after a dispute, which was caught on camera and consequently released. The video is certainly hard to watch, and it doesn’t help Mixon’s case that the young woman suffered four fractured bones in her face. Mixon has since then apologized and appears to be trying to move on from the incident as a whole in the wake of the NFL draft.
As of today, the Patriots currently have Dion Lewis, James White, and Rex Burkhead as their expected starters. On paper it does not look like New England needs running back help, however, Lewis does have a history of injuries. Free agent LeGarrette Blount lead the team in carries last season. Mixon could certainly handle the workload. As a freshman, he played in 13 games, rushing for seven touchdowns, and catching another four touchdowns. Mixon followed that up by having an even more impressive sophomore campaign where the star running back rushed for 1,274 yards, rushing for 10 touchdowns, and catching five touchdown passes.
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New England typically likes to bring in high-character prospects, that love football, however, the Patriots have taken chances on players facing legal troubles. Aaron Hernandez being an obvious one, and the more recent move of bringing in Michael Floyd knowing he was going to be facing jail time for a DUI.
While they should do their homework on Mixon and his behavior off the field, If Belichick believes in second chances, Mixon could become a steal in the later rounds if he clears the character checklists.