Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon has declared for the 2017 NFL Draft. The redshirt sophomore made the announcement Thursday night that he will forgo his final two years of eligibility with the Sooners to move on to the pros.
Thank you, Sooner Nation!! pic.twitter.com/TTw7z4gPox— ⚡PRIMETIME!!!⚡ (@Joe_MainMixon) January 6, 2017
Mixon rushed for 1,274 yards and 10 touchdowns on 187 carries in 2016, and his 6.8 yards-per-carry average was ranked ninth in the nation for ball carriers with more than 150 touches. He also had 37 catches for 538 yards and five touchdowns as a receiver out of the backfield, making him an all-around offensive threat.
While Mixon's talent has always been apparent, the recent release of the video of him punching a woman in 2014, which led to him sitting out his freshman season as a redshirt, will certainly be something NFL teams must consider during the draft process. Mixon's ability was described as "first-round talent" to the Oklahoman by an NFL scout, but the release of the video will certainly impact his draft stock negatively.
Mixon's decision to leave Oklahoma comes in the wake of Bob Stoops saying he now felt as though the original punishment handed out to Mixon following his arrest wasn't enough. Mixon's departure also comes days after his counterpart in the Oklahoma backfield, Samaje Perine, announced he would be entering the NFL Draft as well.
While quarterback Baker Mayfield is returning for another season and the Oklahoma passing game is in good hands, the Sooners will be extremely inexperienced at running back. The leading returning rusher for Oklahoma is rising sophomore Abdul Adams, who carried the ball 53 times for 283 yards in 2016 for the Sooners.