The NFL is making it harder for college players who have been involved in violent incidents off the field to make it professionally.
Former Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon, who was caught on tape punching a woman, and former Baylor receiver Ishmael Zamora, who was caught on tape beating a dog with a belt, were not invited to the Scouting Combine, according to Tom Pelissero of USA Today.
According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, no player who has been convicted of violence or use of a weapon, domestic violence or sexual offenses will be allowed at the Combine. It is unclear if any players other than Mixon or Zamora will be kept away.
Based on talent alone, Mixon could be a first-round draft pick. But the ugly incident in which he punched a woman who confronted him in a restaurant raises questions about whether he’ll be drafted at all. The NFL clearly hopes he won’t be.
Zamora caught 63 passes for 809 yards and eight touchdowns last season despite missing the first three games because Baylor suspended him for the animal abuse. He’s not the same kind of talent that Mixon is, but he too has the physical tools to play in the NFL.
Both players will have to hope they get pre-draft invitations to work out for teams individually, and both will have to hope they can impress at their Pro Days. Because they won’t get a chance to show what they can do at the Combine.