Joe Mixon has met with and garnered interest from multiple NFL teams ahead of next month’s draft, but at least one team apparently has no plans to acquire the running back.
The New England Patriots have scratched Mixon off their draft board because of his previous assault incident, a source confirmed to ESPN.
In 2014, Mixon punched a woman at a bar, accepted a plea deal and was suspended for his freshman year at Oklahoma. Video of the incident, which showed Mixon throwing the punch that broke four bones in the woman’s face, was released in December.
Under owner Robert Kraft, the Patriots have long had a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to domestic violence.
The Boston Herald first reported that the Patriots do not plan to draft Mixon.
Sources told ESPN that Mixon met with the Los Angeles Cgargers and Denver Broncos earlier this month, and Cleveland Browns and Detroit Lions representatives both said during this week’s owners meetings that they would consider drafting Mixon despite his past.
“I really admire people who work hard and turn their life around,” Browns owner Dee Haslam . “I think there’s a lot to be said for that. I don’t know much about him particularly. Again, that would be a decision by the football personnel. Do I think things in life preclude you from having a second chance? I don’t.”
Mixon has been projected as a first-round talent who may go in the second or third round because of the assault. In his latest mock draft released last week, ESPN draft expert Mel Kiper Jr. said he expects Mixon to be selected by the end of the second round.
The Patriots’ first 2017 draft pick comes early in the third round, at No. 72 overall. They traded their first-round pick to the New Orleans Saints to acquire wide receiver Brandin Cooks and moved out of the second round in a swap with the Carolina Panthers for defensive end Kony Ealy.