The Cincinnati Bengals struck gold in the second round of the 2017 NFL Draft. With the draft’s 48th pick, they brought in Oklahoma’s Joe Mixon, one of the several superstar running backs in the class.
Mixon has been nothing short of spectacular throughout his time in the league despite oftentimes running behind a subpar offensive line. Leading the AFC North in rushing in 2018, Mixon has continued to show his worth for the Bengals.
Sadly, the former Oklahoma Sooner is typically forgotten on the national spotlight, having yet to attention a Pro Bowl. CBS Sports’ Patrik Walker, on the other hand, gave Mixon the respect he’s rightfully earned. Walker pegged Mixon as the sixth-best running back in the NFL, one spot behind the Browns’ Nick Chubb.
Allow me to introduce you to Mixon, who is an insanely talented player on literally the worst team in the entire NFL. Sure, things are [again] looking up for the Bengals, on the heels of grabbing quarterback Joe Burrow with the first-overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, but Mixon has been one cooking with Crisco for quite some time now. Since joining the Bengals as their 48th-overall pick in 2017, the team has stumbled to a forgettable 15-33 record, but not because of Mixon. A weapon out of the backfield as either a runner or a receiver, his last two seasons have seen him accumulate 2,888 yards from scrimmage and 17 touchdowns.
It was a brutal start from Walker, but he’s not wrong. Over the last several years, the team’s offensive line hasn’t been great, and Andy Dalton’s days as a passable quarterback was coming to a close.
It just hasn’t been a great environment for a running back to thrive, but Mixon has been able to do his best, putting up terrific numbers in 2019 for the two-win Bengals.
With Burrow and 2019 first-round pick Jonah Williams both healthy and on the roster, Mixon may be looking at a career year. Totaling over 1,400 all-purpose yards the last two seasons, Mixon’s continued to elevate his game.