Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon will be drafted, and probably drafted early. Despite a 2014 incident in which he punched a woman, he’s too talented to slip that far in the draft.
But he won’t be going to the New England Patriots.
The Boston Herald, citing sources, said Mixon is off the Patriots’ draft board.
“While I believe in second chances and giving players an opportunity for redemption, I also believe that playing in the NFL is a privilege, not a right,” Patriots owner Robert Kraft told the Herald, without specifically citing Mixon. “For me, personally, I believe that privilege is lost for men who have a history of abusing women.”
The Miami Dolphins have also reportedly taken Mixon off their draft board, and other teams presumably have as well. He’ll be one of the most-watched cases in this draft, because he probably is a borderline first-round talent (he’s No. 34 in Eric Edholm’s countdown of draft prospects, and Greg Cosell said Mixon is the most complete running back prospect in the draft, better than Dalvin Cook).
Mixon was suspended for the 2014 season, and then the debate about Mixon gained more steam last December when a video of him punching Amelia Molitor in the face was released.
In the next few weeks before the draft, teams will have to decide how to weigh Mixon’s past against his talent on the field. The Patriots won’t be having that discussion, because they’ve already decided against Mixon.
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