Whichever team drafted Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon last week knew it would have to do some public relations work afterward.
And, honestly, we all knew the Cincinnati Bengals, the home for many players with off-field baggage, would draft Mixon. The least surprising pick of the draft, after Myles Garrett went to the Cleveland Browns first overall, came when the Bengals took Mixon in the second round. For anyone who hasn’t heard, Mixon punched a female student in 2014.
Mixon was the most controversial player in the draft because of that, and Bengals president Mike Brown wrote a letter to Bengals fans to explain the pick. It was printed in the Cincinnati Enquirer.
In the letter, Brown rehashes what happened, and says since Mixon punched a woman he has “become a good citizen in Norman, a popular teammate, a player respected by his coaches, and one of the most talented players in college football.”
Brown never denies that the Bengals drafted Mixon because he can help the football team, which should be obvious anyway. Mixon was considered by some the best all-around running back in this draft class. Still, ESPN’s Adam Schefter said during their draft broadcast that he’d heard as few as four NFL teams considered drafting Mixon. That number still seems too low, but many teams took Mixon off their draft boards.
The Bengals didn’t, and Brown admits that it’s a gamble.
“In making our decision, we took a risk,” Brown wrote in the Enquirer. “In this case, the risk has an upside as well as a downside. We believe Joe has put this behind him and that he can turn into the player and community member that creates a plus for Cincinnati. We are going to do everything in our power to make this happen.”
– – – – – – –
More from Yahoo Sports:
• Aaron Hernandez suicide note to fiancée released
• LaVar Ball accused of ripping off shoe logo
• Ex-Oregon star found after escaping state custody
• JayCutler expects regret, but says NFL retirement is permanent