The Denver Broncos and controversial draft prospect Joe Mixon met on Thursday at the team’s Dove Valley headquarters, likely one of several interactions the University of Oklahoma running back will have with NFL teams before the draft in late April.
Denver 7 Broncos Insider Troy Renck estimated on Friday, when it’s all said and done, half the teams in the NFL will likely have met with Mixon., who spent his freshman season at Oklahoma suspended following an off-the-field indiscretion in which he punched a fellow female student, fracturing several bones in her face.
The Sooners running back took a plea deal for a one-year deferred sentence on an assault charge, and was removed from the team. But in the two seasons following, Mixon would become one of college football’s more prolific running backs.
Mixon’s agent, Peter Schaffer, told “Polumbus & Cecil” on Friday he believes it’ll be all 32 teams who will be doing due diligence in investigating the first-round draft talent.
“It’s a risk. I’d be a huge risk,” Renck told “Schlereth & Evans” of taking someone with the talent but baggage like Mixon. “But like Tyreek Hill last year with Kansas City, talent in so many cases can end up trumping all, and that could be the reason.”
Sports Radio 104.3 The Fan’s Brandon Stokley said on Friday that he wouldn’t go any lower than the fourth round if he were selecting him in this year’s draft due to that baggage.
“There’s still a lot of baggage with him, no matter what he’s done in the interview process. There are still some concerns,” Stokley said. “He has had a bad incident in his past, and so you always have to be careful and cautious with a guy like that. And to spend a high draft pick on him and it backfires, then you’re really in a bad spot.”
But, Renck pointed to two Broncos starters — Bradley Roby and Shane Ray — who had character questions heading into the NFL Draft but Denver felt their leadership and culture could provide an eviroment suitable for a second chance.
“Obviously, Mixon’s case is a completely different episode, and episode of violence. But that would be the issue, which is could you bring a person in, you’re giving him a second chance in your culture that they’ve changed and learned their lesson?” Renck said.
It still remains to be seen, however, when — or if — the Broncos or any other NFL team will grant Mixon that second chance.
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