The Cincinnati Bengals drafted Oklahoma Sooners running back Joe Mixon with the 48th overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft. Mixon was widely considered one of the best running backs in the draft class but many teams passed on him based on something he did three years ago as a freshman at the University of Oklahoma. According to Mixon, he was straightforward with the Bengals and they chose to add the talented running back to their team.

The Joe Mixon controversy

The reason that Joe Mixon fell in the 2017 NFL Draft to the Cincinnati Bengals in the second round was because of an incident that took place in 2014 in Norman, Oklahoma.

Mixon was at a sandwich shop next to the campus when security footage caught a girl approach and attack him. After the girl struck Mixon twice in the face, the running back turned and punched her in the face. Mixon knocked her out and broke bones in her face with the strike. Mixon had the charges against him dropped and the girl was never charged for assaulting either.

The Fallout from the Joe Mixon incident

The girl in the case claimed that Joe Mixon had made some homophobic remarks about someone she was with and that was why she attacked him in the sandwich shop. Witnesses in the shop said that the girl was using racial slurs while she attacked Mixon. Regardless of who was right or wrong, the fact that Mixon struck a female caused the Oklahoma Sooners to act swiftly and they suspended him for the entire year.

Mixon was allowed to return to school after a year and he rejoined the Oklahoma Sooners football team after serving his suspension as punishment. Joe Mixon has not gotten into trouble since the incident, although he did have a public disagreement with one of Oklahoma's parking officers.

The Joe Mixon NFL Draft situation

While the incident happened back in 2014, the girl chose to file a civil suit against Joe Mixon for the injuries she suffered.

There was a demand by news networks in 2016 to see the video so Mixon's attorney stepped up and said that Joe wanted it released to get this behind him. The release of the video happened right before the Oklahoma Sooners bowl game last season, which caused the entire situation to blow up once again and people were talking about the almost three-year-old incident as if it had just happened.

Because people were talking about it again, the NFL decided that the fact that Mixon already served his punishment was not enough. They did not allow him to attend the NFL Combine and teams had to go to Norman for a private session. What Joe Mixon, who ran for 2,027 yards and 17 touchdowns in two seasons, proved to the Cincinnati Bengals was that he had grown from the incident and that they could trust him on their team. Cincinnati called him the second best running back in the 2017 NFL Draft.