Is Declaring for the NFL Draft the Right Thing to do for Joe Mixon?

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About a month ago, Joe Mixon decided to forgo two years of eligibility at OU and enter the NFL Draft. This came as a surprise to college football fans everywhere, I think, because the video that released of Mixon assaulting a woman got so much criticism. Many experts thought it would hurt his draft stock, and to be honest, it probably will. It is also strange that Mixon decided to do this, considering Samaje Perine, another OU running back, declared for the draft just a few days before Mixon did. Mixon flew home to tell coaches about his decision to enter the draft. Mixon is saying that draft experts gave him a first round rating, which doesn’t seem true.

Don’t get me wrong, the talent that Mixon has is unbelievable, he just didn’t see as much of the field as other great college running backs this year, like Leonard Fournette or Christian McCaffrey.  Mixon did, however, finish second in yards from scrimmage this season. He also reached the end zone 15 times, a stat that is nothing to look over. However, I feel most football fans would say that Perine is a better back than Mixon.

One thing that people need to start understanding is that Mixon is really trying to better himself.  If we take him for his word, he’s learned his mistake, and he seemed pretty passionate about it in his press conference. With all the controversy surrounding Joe Mixon, and his declaring to the draft, I am left with one question: Is this the right decision for Joe Mixon?

Let me start off by saying that I am not Joe Mixon, so my opinion doesn’t really matter. But If I were in Joe Mixon’s shoes, staying another year, or two, would’ve easily been my decision. For starters, Mixon owes a lot to Bob Stoops and the University of Oklahoma.  They could’ve easily kicked him off the team when the assault happened in 2014, and Stoops said if he had to do it over again he would’ve kicked Mixon off the team. OU giving him a one year suspension is a little generous, in my opinion.  So, reason #1 why Joe Mixon should stay is because he owes something to the school that gave him so much.

Reason #2 why Joe Mixon should stay is this: Perine already declared for the NFL Draft. I know that the Mixon/Perine duo was scary, but now that Perine is gone, it could’ve easily been the Joe Mixon Show in Norman for two more years. Who knows what we could’ve seen?  A Heisman winner? A National Championship? An undefeated season? With his 2016 numbers and his talent, the sky was the limit for his remaining time in a college football uniform.

Reason #3 ties into both of the previous reasons a little bit: At least one, maybe even 2 more seasons, is enough to improve one’s draft stock. By a lot.  Mixon could’ve easily gone top 15, in two years from now, in my opinion.  Imagine if he eclipsed a 20+ touchdown season, or a 1500 yard rushing season, or 2500+ total yard season. He could’ve been something very special in the eyes of football fans.

Now, I’m not saying Mixon is going to fail in the NFL, because if he gets drafted, he could do very well in his pro career.  I’m just saying he could’ve done so much more for the program, himself, and college football if he stayed.  This isn’t my choice, though, and I personally am someone who believes in giving people second chances. So, I wish Joe Mixon the best of luck going forward, and I hope he remembers that no matter what, his electric play on the field made Sooner fans everywhere proud.