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Report: Bengals “seriously considering” Oklahoma’s Joe Mixon in second round

The talented but troubled running back is gaining steam as a second round pick and continues to be linked to the Cincinnati Bengals.

Oklahoma v Oklahoma State Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

The rumors of the Cincinnnati Bengals continuing to be interested in embattled Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon keep gaining steam. The latest comes from popular NFL Draft analyst, Tony Pauline.

Pauline’s report is a follow up to one from NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah, noting heavy interest around the league for Mixon. According to Jeremiah, the Broncos, Raiders, Chargers and Saints all have some level of interest.

Still, it seems as if the Bengals have shown a considerable amount of public interest in Mixon so far in the pre-draft process. After attending his Pro Day, where Mixon impressed with his 4.39 and 4.44 40-yard dash times, the team subsequently hosted him for a visit in Cincinnati a few days after meeting with him privately in Norman, Oklahoma.

By now, you probably know about Mixon’s past, which provides the big debates within team war rooms. As a freshman in 2014, Mixon punched a fellow female student in the face, breaking bones in her cheek. It caused him to be suspended for the remainder of the season.

He also had a run-in with a campus parking attendant in 2016, who gave him a citation. Mixon reportedly tore a parking ticket up and threw it at the attendant, causing him to be suspended for another game last year. These issues caused him to not be invited to the Combine and is why his Pro Day became such big news.

But, it’s the on-field production that has teams keeping him on their draft boards—and even moving him up the boards since his workout. Last season with the Sooners, Mixon recorded 1,274 rushing yards, 6.8 yards per carry and 10 rushing touchdowns. He also notched 538 receiving yards at 14.5 yards per catch and five touchdown grabs.

Interestingly enough, this report comes on the heels of owner Mike Brown backing Adam Jones following his recent offseason arrest. We’ll see if a similar attitude from the front office ends up also having such a forgiving attitude with Mixon in regards to his past transgressions.

Mixon is a highly talented running back, but it remains to be seen if the Bengals are willing to look beyond his past and give him a second chance.