Under a conduct policy instituted by the NFL last year, Mixon did not receive an invitation to the combine. Players who have misdemeanor or felony convictions involving violence or use of a weapon, domestic violence, a sexual offense and/or sexual assault are not invited, though the NFL has the discretion to consider underlying circumstances in each case in determining combine invitations. Mixon punched a female OU student as a freshman in 2014, and was charged with acts resulting in gross injury, a misdemeanor. He was suspended for the 2014 season by OU coach Bob Stoops, and received probation in the criminal case following a plea agreement.
He and several other prospects who had run afoul of the law were passed on for combine invitations, which Quinn lamented Mixon's absence on Wednesday.
"We're going to leave the door open on Joe. I think it's really disappointing that Joe's not here. We come here to see the best college football players, so there are 330, 340 some-odd players here, and for him not being here because of those issues, personally I don't think that's real fair because we have a lot of investigation that we want to do on him," Quinn said. "To get him in one spot for all the teams would have been great. I'm not part of the decisions about how guys are chosen, but I think it is a disappointment that a guy like him, and a few others you can put in that category, that we're going to be chasing around in the month of March and April, and it's really unfair to the players to be honest with you.
"So the door's open, and I'd like to be able to get a chance to sit down with the people that know Joe, or Joe, and see what the circumstances were around the incident."
Upon accepting the Lions GM job a little over a year ago, Quinn announced a zero-tolerance policy on players with a history of domestic violence or a gun crime. In January, however, he walked that stance back. Mixon was not charged with domestic violence in the incident, but a number of NFL clubs nevertheless consider Mixon undraftable, according to NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport. The Lions, however, are not among them -- at least for the moment.
"Yes, he is still on our draft board," Quinn said.
Other prospects who were passed on for combine invitations due to conduct issues include Ole Miss QB Chad Kelly, Ole Miss WR Damore'ea Stringfellow and Baylor WR Ishmael Zamora.