Running back is a position of need for the Bengals. Jeremy Hill has underachieved since his rookie season. Giovani Bernard is recovering from a torn ACL. Rex Burkhead and Cedric Peerman are likely to hit free agency. They should probably draft a running back, even if they retain one of the two.
I wouldn't say the Bengals are desperate at running back, but they definitely need to add someone. Could former Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon be on their radar? Albert Breer of the MMQB wrote about Mixon earlier today. Here's part of what Breer wrote:
"We’ve all seen the video. What Oklahoma’s Joe Mixon did in July of 2014, on the day after his 18th birthday, was horrible and inexcusable. But what if that video wasn’t released? Mixon probably is a candidate to go in the first round. And outside of an altercation over a parking ticket, Mixon’s kept his nose clean since.
“It needs to be the right market, a team that can handle the onslaught, the right PR staff, because you’ll have to weather the storm,” said one area scout assigned to the Sooners. “But the guy the Chiefs drafted (Tyreek Hill), Joe Mixon isn’t half the douchebag that guy was. … You’d have to search to find people that don’t like him. Maybe the parking-lot attendant. Everyone there loves him. And I believe them.”
It will take owner approval in this case. There are teams with history (like Baltimore) that simply won’t be able to take him. But this is a first-round prospect with Matt Forte/David Johnson potential as an every-down back. I think there’s a chance he goes before the Friday night of the draft is complete."
The Chiefs took Hill in the fifth round. He finished his rookie season with 867 yards from scrimmage and nine touchdowns. No one expected Hill to be that good as a rookie. Some believe Mixon would be ranked ahead of Leonard Fournette and Dalvin Cook if he didn't have the off-the-field issues.
I've talked to multiple draft analysts about Mixon including Jon Ledyard of InsidethePylon.com. They love what he can do on the field. I think he slides into round two because of the public relations side of things, but I don't expect him to be around when the Bengals make their third pick.
He's super talented and has already won over some scouts according to Albert Breer. I'm betting more than a few teams will be open to drafting Mixon. Would you be mad if the Bengals drafted Mixon?
I discussed Mixon's draft stock last week on the Locked on Bengals podcast. Listen to that below.