Packers Draft Preview: Oklahoma RB Joe Mixon

Mike McCarthy wants to add to the Packers’ stable of running backs. Even with Ty Montgomery and Christine Michael on the roster, it seems likely that the Packers may select a running back somewhere during the 2017 NFL Draft.

And while he may be among the most talented running backs in the draft, Oklahoma’s Joe Mixon could very well be a Packers selection during any one of the draft’s seven rounds. A checkered history and concerns about his future have put him all over the draft board, but if the Packers decide to look past his former transgressions, he could be an intriguing pick.

What are Mixon’s strengths?

  • Can do it all; considered a “true three down-back” by NFL draft analyst Lance Zerlein
  • Good size and good game speed
  • Productive in all phases of offense and even on special teams
  • Elusive in the open field

What are Mixon’s weaknesses?

  • Domestic violence issue (see video of the incident below) is an enormous red flag and could take Mixon out of the draft entirely

  • Height could leave him susceptible to injury

  • Doesn’t run well inside
  • Production may have been boosted by below-average Big 12 defenses

How does Joe Mixon fit with the Packers?

From a purely football standpoint, someone with Mixon’s skills would be an enormous asset to the Packers. The team craves versatility from its backs, and Mixon is that and more. Looking just at his abilities, he’d be a great fit, although the normal caveats about taking a running back in the first round do apply.

However, Mixon’s criminal history is markedly different from other players the Packers have retained of late. It wouldn’t be unreasonable for female fans of the Packers to ask the team to justify a decision to draft a player with this kind of video in his history:

Mixon, to his credit, has mostly said and done the right things as he tries to move past his very serious poor choices, and to that end, a second chance may be in order. But do the Packers (or even the NFL) need to be the ones to give it to him?

A second chance could just as easily mean that he doesn’t have to go to prison for punching a woman in the face. It doesn’t necessarily have to mean a chance to play in the NFL.

Will the Packers draft Joe Mixon?

The Packers will not draft Joe Mixon… in the first round.

It’s clear the Packers do need more running backs and Mixon is a talented player. But his criminal history is too significant to justify spending a first round pick to bring him to Green Bay. He did visit with the Packers, though, so the door could at least be open to a later round pick.