With their second-round pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, the Bengals struck gold. Drafting Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon, the Bengals were one of several teams that found their backfield star that offseason.
Having rushed for the most yards in the AFC just two seasons ago, Mixon, who was running behind arguably the league’s worst offensive line last season, still recorded 1,424 yards from scrimmage and his second straight 1,000-yard rushing season.
Since he’s come into the league, he’s shown an ability to make something from nothing. Toward the back half of 2019, after a slow start, he was seemingly the only real weapon for this offense that stalled after almost every trip onto the field.
With AJ Green back and 2018 first-round draft pick Jonah Williams projected to be a starter come Week 1, we may get a version of Mixon the league has never seen. While Cincinnati still get little publicity or respect around the league, Mixon was mentioned in a positive light on NFL Netowrk’s Good Morning Football,
“That’s an easy question. For me it’s Joe Mixon of the Cincinnati Bengals. He started to show his true promise [last season]. He has the ability [to catch], just like Christian McCaffrey, yet he’s 6-1, 230 pounds. He is a strong individual that does everything,” former NFL star Maurice Jones-Drew said on GMFB when asked about which running back he’ll be excited to see in 2020.
However, the praise for the Queen City’s star didn’t stop there.
“He reminds me of sort-of a Terrell Davis-type. A slasher, he’s quick, he’s strong, he’s tough — breaks a lot of tackles,” Kyle Brandt added. For those that don’t know, Terrell Davis was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2017. He went over 2,000 yards and 20 touchdowns for Denver in 1998.
If that’s the type of production we can look forward to, the Bengals may be able to turn some heads in 2020. I wouldn’t put money on Mixon copying those numbers, but he could be in store for his best NFL season yet.