Fantasy Rookies You Want On Your Team: Joe Mixon

Joe Mixon Bengals Free Agency

The Enquirer-Kareem Elgazzar

Average Draft Position (CBS): 52nd

Position: RB

NFL Veteran Comparison: Le’Veon Bell

We all know about what happened with Mixon and the girlfriend at the restaurant in Oklahoma. Amid this terrible decision on Mixon’s behalf, the Cincinnati Bengals used their second-round selection (48th overall) to select the running back. As of now, Mixon will not face any sort of discipline from the NFL, and we hope that he can keep himself out of trouble. Mixon showed flashes of potential splitting carries with Samaje Perine at Oklahoma, and he will now have to fight off Jeremy Hill and Giovani Bernard for the starting spot. Here’s why he will seize the starting role:

  • Hill is long known for his ball security issues, and excluding an abysmal game against Texas last year, Mixon fumbled just twice in his two years at Oklahoma.
  • Giovani Bernard is a little undersized at 5’9”, 208 lbs and is better suited for a passing down role, while Mixon sizes up at a heftier 6’1” 227 lbs.
  • Cincinnati also lacked long gains on the ground, having just two rushes of over 20 yards the entire season. Mixon, however, had at least one rush of 20+ yards in every game last season except for Texas, and had 6 rushes of 20+ yards in 2015.

Mixon is a clear combination of size, explosiveness, and speed (4.43 40-yard dash). He ran for 1,274 yards and 10 touchdowns last season splitting carries with another NFL-bound player in Samaje Perine. If Mixon does end up securing the starting job, it is reasonable to expect a 1,000-yard season from him due to his productivity in a timeshare at Oklahoma.

Mixon has the potential for a 10+ touchdown season, but that depends on how Cincinnati will deploy their goal line offense; Hill could still possibly be used as a goal line back.

Le’Veon Bell is Mixon’s veteran comparison, but with Bell’s productivity this seems like high praise, but Bell measures up at 6’1” 225 lbs, almost identical to Mixon, and Mixon displayed a Bell-esque burst in college as well. With his average draft position in the 4-6th round depending on how many teams are in your league, Mixon could be a steal and a season savior for your team.

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