DENVER -- NFL sources confirmed that University of Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon will visit the Broncos on Thursday.
Pre-draft meetings remain common, but Mixon brings attention because of his accompanying controversy and talent. The NFL declined to invite Mixon to last month's combine for the top 330 prospects. He was not included because of an incident on July 25, 2014 at Oklahoma's Pickleman's Gourmet Cafe. Mixon threw a punch that broke multiple bones in Amelia Molitor's face. Mixon struck Molitor after she shoved and and slapped him. The video was released in December 2016 after the Oklahoma Association of Broadcasters went to court to obtain it.
Mixon, 20, entered an Alford Plea. It allowed him to maintain his innocence, while acknowledging sufficient evidence existed for a jury to find him guilty. He was given a one-year deferred sentence, 100 hours of community service and ordered to undergo cognitive behavior counseling. After a serving a suspension in 2014, Mixon starred for the Sooners the past two seasons, rushing for 2,207 yards on 6.7 yards per carry, while scoring 17 touchdowns. He also caught 65 passes for 894 yards and nine scores.
Mixon received criticism for the way he initially handled questions about the incident at the Orange Bowl. He took inquiries only about football. Mixon was later suspended for a game after an altercation with a parking lot attendant in which he ripped up a ticket. He is considered a first-round talent by many scouts, but how a team views his behavior, which includes a graphic video of the 2104 incident, and their comfort level with the attention he brings will determine where he goes in the draft. Mixon recently visited the Cincinnati Bengals. Three teams have taken Mixon off their board without evaluating his tape, according to FanRag Sports.
Mixon addressed the 2014 incident in a recent interview with MMQB's Albert Breer.
"Because at the end of the day, I'd never gotten in trouble before that point, and never after. You can't judge someone on a mistake they made. I'm sure you've made mistakes. I am sure everyone's made mistakes. It's what you do after and what you learn from it," Mixon said. "It's not like it's been a string of things after that incident. It was a one-time thing thing. I made a bad decision. I made a bad mistake. If I could take it back, I would. I can't. So I have to keep moving forward, doing the right things. I can't keep worrying about something that happened three years ago."