Widely regarded as a first-round talent, Mixon probably wouldn't have lasted until the second day of the draft if not for a 2014 incident in which he punched a female Oklahoma student. His landing spot comes as no surprise, with the Bengals in need of a running back and already possessing a well-established reputation for adding or keeping players who come at a discount due to off-field incidents. A second-round selection (2014) himself, Hill has 30 touchdowns in 47 career games, but he's fallen shy of 4.0 yards per carry in consecutive seasons after averaging 5.1 as a rookie. He now finds himself in serious danger of losing the lead ball-carrier job as he enters a contract season, but it does at least seem Hill is embracing the challenge, as he already reached out to Mixon and told the rookie he's glad to have him around. A capable pass catcher in addition to an explosive runner, Mixon could also threaten some of Giovani Bernard's (torn ACL) usual workload.
Hill said he isn't worried about the possibility of Cincinnati using an early draft pick on a running back, NFL.com's reports. "If they wanna draft the back high, go ahead and do it," said Hill. "They're probably going to be my backup."
With Giovani Bernard (knee) rehabbing from a torn ACL and Hill coming off back-to-back seasons with under 4.0 yards per carry, the Bengals figure to draft a running back for the first time since using a second-rounder on Hill in 2014. Depending on how early the position is addressed, Hill could even enter training camp as an underdog to retain his role as Cincinnati's lead ball-carrier. The team also figures to address a line that lost left tackle Andrew Whitworth and left guard Kevin Zeitler -- players that Hill referred to as the team's two best offensive linemen. Despite scoring 30 touchdowns in 47 career games, the 24-year-old running back will enter his contract season with a ton to prove. If he doesn't get his YPC mark back above 4.0, he may be pigeon-holed as a goal-line/short-yardage specialist when he hits the open market next offseason.
The Cincinnati coaching staff believes Hill can regain his 2014 rookie-year form, Cincinnati.com reports.
Hill's volume near the goal line has partially obscured his general ineffectiveness as a runner, with his 20 rushing scores over the past two seasons nullifying the fantasy impact of his meager YPC marks -- 3.6 in 2015, 3.8 in 2016. He was far more effective as a rookie, picking up 5.1 yards per carry on his way to a 1,000-yard rushing season, and even catching 27 of his 32 targets. Despite the prolonged struggles, Hill is in line for another shot at leading the Cincinnati backfield as he enters the final year of his contract. He could also take on more of a pass-catching role, as Rex Burkhead departed for New England in free agency, while Gio Bernard (torn ACL) may not be a full-go for Week 1. On the other hand, the aforementioned backfield issues could simply lead Cincinnati to address the position in the draft, which might give Hill some serious competition for the early-down work he's traditionally dominated.
Hill missed Cincinnati's final regular-season game due to a knee problem, but that was mostly due to the
Hill (knee) is listed as inactive for Sunday's matchup against the Ravens.
Hill suited up in Week 16, but was clearly hobbled by a knee injury, and ended up logging just 13 offensive snaps. The Bengals won't risk any further injury in a relatively meaningless regular season finale, leaving backfield duties to Rex Burkhead and Cedric Peerman.
|P3||8/27/17||@ WAS||4:30 pm|
|P4||8/31/17||@ IND||7:00 pm|
|3||9/24/17||@ GB||4:25 pm|
|4||10/1/17||@ CLE||1:00 pm|
|Bye: Week 6|
|7||10/22/17||@ PIT||1:00 pm|
|9||11/5/17||@ JAC||1:00 pm|
|10||11/12/17||@ TEN||1:00 pm|
|11||11/19/17||@ DEN||4:25 pm|
|15||12/17/17||@ MIN||1:00 pm|
|17||12/31/17||@ BAL||1:00 pm|
|Year||Team||G||Fum||Lost||Fum Forced||Own Rec||Opp Rec||Yds||Tot Rec||TD|