At a time when the impression had been created that running back Joe Mixon is climbing, the truth could be the opposite.
Gil Brandt of NFL.com has issued his list of the top 150 players in the draft, and the list completely omits the former Oklahoma running back.
Thirteen running backs other than Mixon made the list: Leonard Fournette (No. 2); Christian McCaffrey (No. 12); Dalvin Cook (No. 25); Curtis Samuel (No. 35); Samaje Perine (No. 64); Alvin Kamara (No. 78); Brian Hill (No. 80); D’Onta Foreman (No. 87); James Conner (No. 90); Donnel Pumphrey (No. 129); Kareem Hunt (No. 132); Jeremy McNichols (No. 141); Tarik Cohen (No. 143).
Mike Mayock of NFL Media has said that he wouldn’t draft Mixon because of the off-field punch to a female’s face that was caught on camera in 2014. But that’s just one person’s assessment; Brandt presumably is ranking the players based on how all teams view them. Indeed, Mayock still has Mixon at No. 5 among running backs even though Mayock wouldn’t write Mixon’s name on a draft card.
Brandt’s rankings come at a time when there’s a palpable buzz that Mixon may indeed linger much longer than expected. While the “anonymous scouts” have yet to trash Mixon (then again, they often only trash the guys the scouts hope will slide into their laps), multiple league sources who have investigated the situation believe that Mixon may be waiting beyond round two or three.
At least one source has suggested that Mixon possibly won’t be drafted at all. That would be a shock if it happens, to everyone but the source. And Gil Brandt.
UPDATE 11:35 a.m. ET: Brandt says that this is his personal board only, and that he’d be surprised if Mixon is still available in the middle of round two. This doesn’t change the current buzz that Mixon could linger, although it takes only one team at any given time to end the slide.