Oklahoma Sooners running back Joe Mixon is one of the top running backs heading into the 2017 NFL Draft but his stock fell hard thanks to an incident that took place in his freshman year of college. Mixon struck a woman in a sandwich shop and was suspended for his entire freshman season from Oklahoma. However, the case came back to haunt him as he declared for the NFL Draft when the woman he struck sued him.

The Joe Mixon abuse incident

The altercation happened at a sandwich shop in Norman, Oklahoma when video surveillance caught a woman having words with Joe Mixon.

When the Oklahoma Sooners freshman tried to walk off, the woman struck him twice and Mixon responded by turning and punching her in the face. The punch broke four bones in her face and she was knocked unconscious, after which Joe left the shop.

On top of physically attacking Joe Mixon, the woman - Amelia Molitor - was also accused of making racial slurs towards him by witnesses. She responded by saying the Mixon made homophobic comments about a friend of hers earlier. Whatever caused the altercation, Mixon was a football star for the Oklahoma Sooner and was much stronger than the woman he struck, causing the police to arrest him and not Molitor despite her attacks that led to the knockout punch.

Joe Mixon reached a plea agreement with the DA office and was suspended for an entire year from the Sooners. As for the civil suit, a judge dismissed negligence and willful and wanton misconduct charges and Joe reached a civil settlement with Amelia Molitor for "intentional infliction of emotional distress."

Joe Mixon and his NFL future

Now that all court proceedings have concluded, Joe Mixon can look forward to the 2017 NFL Draft.

Possibly because of the incident, which took place three years ago, the NFL refused to invite Joe to the NFL Combine so teams could not work him out there. However, the Oklahoma Sooners hosted a private workout with NFL teams for Mixon and he still has a promising future in the NFL.

The incident puts a microscope on Mixon thanks to the recent rash of domestic abuse allegations against NFL players but his skill levels cannot be questioned.

According to ESPN NFL Draft expert Mel Kiper Jr., he expects the Cleveland Browns to draft Joe Mixon with the first pick of the second round. ESPN analyst Todd McShay also has Mixon going in the second round, which is a big improvement over early estimates that saw him falling because of team's doubts concerning his character.