As we inch close to the 2017 NFL Draft, we'll start to see teams linked with players in various rounds. It's no different with the Jacksonville Jaguars, as I saw one nugget that I thought was of interest. CBS writer and Jaguars fan favorite Jason LaCanfora spoke with a "noted talented evaluator that he trusts" with draft prospects and what tiers they fall into and where they'll go.
One that stuck out to me, was that the Jaguars were name dropped as if it's an assumed interest if the player is available once the second round comes.
Joe Mixon, RB, Oklahoma: The video of him striking a female is the biggest off-field story in this draft, but I don't see him getting past the Jaguars at the top of Round 2 (assuming they don't take Fournette in the first round). If the Jaguars do take Fournette, Mixon is gone by pick 48 (Vikings) or 50 (Bengals).
I'm not going to re-hash the entire Joe Mixon discussion, because we've had that multiple times. I'm sure anyone familiar with me or has read my opinions in the past will know I'm not a big fan of signing/drafting players with domestic violence/violence against women issues in their past. I didn't want Greg Hardy because he seemed not remorseful at all. I didn't want Ray Rice, because just how could you do that after that video came?
I don't really want Joe Mixon, either. It seems pretty clear though, through all the smoke, that he's still on the Jaguars draft board. I accept that it's possible the Jaguars could make this selection and I do think he's a really good football player, arguably the best runningback in the draft class, but if the team makes the pick in the second round there are going to be a lot of hurdles to jump through.
The pick of Mixon is going to create an immediate negative backlash from media, because of the issues Mixon had off the field. The only way to curtail this from a team's perspective is to address it head on. You'd need to have Mixon immediately answer questions about the situation(s) from the media right out the gate. You're going to need to have Mixon visibly either speak out against domestic violence/violence against women and even volunteer at things around town. You're going to have to do a lot of make up on the pig, if you will.
There have been many players with domestic violence issues drafted in the past and the media storm/backlash has been short lived. Tyreek Hill made a ton of plays for the Kansas City Chiefs last season, but his issues are rarely still discussed. Frank Clarke of the Seattle Seahawks had a lot of issues in the draft and got picked way higher than people thought he would, because of those issues, but there isn't really anything discussed about it beyond the initial backlash. In a media market like Jacksonville, it would likely be short lived as well. These are likely things the front office considers when parsing the talent and the risk of things like this.
Anyway, this isn't advocating for or against Mixon, I just thought it was interesting that the Jaguars were name dropped as a team that would snap him up in the second round and if it were to happen some of the hurdles they'd likely need/want to jump through.