The Los Angeles Chargers could very well add to their running back corps through the NFL draft, despite re-signing Branden Oliver and bringing in free agent Kenyon Barner.
This particular draft is loaded at the running back position, but one of the names getting the most attention is former Oklahoma star, Joe Mixon.
Mixon is one of the most talented running backs in this class without much question, but he comes with plenty of question marks that stem from a couple of off-the-field incidents while at Oklahoma, mainly an incident at a bar in which Mixon punched a woman in the face. Video of the incident surfaced and threatened to ruin Mixon the same way a similar incident had done to Ray Rice.
At least two teams—the New England Patriots and Miami Dolphins have completely removed Mixon from their draft board. That said, several teams have also held private workouts for Mixon, and the Chargers are one of them.
Mixon is a talented runner. He scored 26 combined touchdowns in college and averaged 6.8 yards per carry. He is a complete back who shows a solid combination of speed and power. And if that’s not enough to whet your appetite, watch him catch passes out of the backfield. He may be the best receiving back in this draft, and that includes Christian McCaffrey.
As Chargers coach Anthony Lynn told Eric Williams of ESPN, the team may have been just doing its due diligence by having Mixon in for a workout.
“He’s still on the draft board. It didn’t change much. We just wanted to see where he was at. We know he can play football. He’s one of the best backs in the draft. We just wanted to do our homework, that’s all.”
Despite his talent, Mixon is still a risk due to his potential character issues. The victim in the bar incident suffered serious injuries and for that, some people will never forgive him. In addition, the Chargers are a team that is moving into a new market and trying to win over a new set of fans, while also trying to hold onto the ones they still have from San Diego. As a result, drafting Mixon may not be the best public relations move.
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However, in talking with Williams, Lynn made it clear that he feels Mixon should get a shot somewhere.
“If we had social media back when I was coming through, hell I might not be here sitting in front of you. I do believe in giving people second chances. And like I said, they’re young and immature when we get them. And part of our job is to help mentor these young men and get them ready for life after football. I take that as a challenge and responsibility.”
What does that all mean? That remains to be seen. But if the Chargers are willing to look past the troubled history of Mixon, the team could bring in a dynamic running back to pair with Melvin Gordon.
So we pose the question to our readers. How would you feel if the team were to draft Mixon? Let us know in the comments section below.