It will probably never be clear how many NFL clubs have removed Joe Mixon from their draft boards. But the number is no lower than six, according to the responses from NFL executives polled by the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.
The former Oklahoma running back was barred from this year's NFL Scouting Combineunder a conduct policy, and the Boston Herald reported last month that the New England Patriotswould not consider drafting him. The Patriots certainly aren't alone, per the Journal-Sentinel report. Of 11 NFL executives polled on Mixon, six said their clubs would not consider drafting him, while two others declined comment.
"Off the board. Our guys went and talked to him. They said he was really good. Doesn't drink, doesn't smoke. Just made a mistake when he was 18 and is paying for it," an NFC executive said.
"He will not be on my board. Impulsive violence against a defenseless woman. I believe in forgiveness, but this is not a matter of forgiveness. It's natural consequences for an action. I wish him well," added an AFC executive.
Mixon is the draft's most controversial prospect, and among its most talented, as well. He punched a female OU student in 2014 and was charged with acts resulting in gross injury. The case was settled with a plea agreement, and Mixon, who was suspended for the 2014 season, served one year of probation, counseling, and 100 hours of community service. The incident was put back in the public eye in December when a video of Mixon's punch was released, generating renewed questions about his draft status.
Of course, executives from 11 teams isn't a representation of the entire league, but it does offer some insight into the seriousness with which NFL clubs are taking his evaluation. Despite the possibility that Mixon is undraftable for a lengthy list of teams, that doesn't mean he won't get a draft call in the early rounds. The consensus among general managers and scouts who have spoken to NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah is that Mixon will be selected in the second round.