Per Liz Mullen, former Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon was not invited to the 2017 NFL Combine. But, he will work out for teams at Oklahoma’s pro day, according to his agent, Peter Schaffer of Authentic Athletix.
Mixon’s on-field performance during his career at Oklahoma (300 carries for 2,027 yards and 17 TD) was certainly worthy of a combine invite, however, a 2014 off-the-field incident in which he punched a female student, breaking bones in her face after she pushed and slapped him. This ultimately led to his suspension during his freshman year and required to perform community service.
After everything that has occurred with athletes and domestic violence (i.e., Ray Rice elevator video), rules for dismissal and suspension have become much more strict (as they should). Up until December 2016, there was no video evidence of the event, but when it was released by the authorities, Oklahoma suspended him for a “violation of team rules.” When asked about the incident and subsequent video, head coach Bob Stoops reflected on his seemingly light punishment realizing it was not enough.
Although it seems that an incident that happened almost three years ago should not be held against a prospect, under NFL rules, “draft-eligible prospects will not be permitted to participate in any aspect of the Combine if a background check reveals a conviction of a felony or misdemeanor involving violence or use of a weapon, domestic violence, sexual offense and/or sexual assault,” according to NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy. On the flip side, “individual clubs are free to independently determine the draft-eligible prospects they wish to evaluate, including those who have demonstrated conduct that restricted their invitation to the Combine. These evaluations may take place at any location permitted under League rules.”
According to WalterFootball.com, Mixon is the 7th rated running back in this draft class, and a projected 1-3 round pick. NFLDraftScout.com lists him as the 5th overall running back.