During ESPN’s draft coverage last weekend Todd McShay had stated that all but four NFL franchises had taken Joe Mixon off their draft boards. Apparently Cincinnati was one of those teams to keep him on and when the Bengals took Mixon, with the 48th overall draft pick, not only did they make him the first player from Oklahoma selected in this years draft, they also opened the door for backlash.
With threats of boycotts and other protests making their way to Paul Brown Stadium, Bengals owner Mike Brown addressed the public with a statement published in the Cincinnati Enquirer.
“The Bengals take pride in our hometown and want to provide winning football on the field and successful players off the field,” Brown said. “That is the reason we drafted Joe – he is a rare football talent, and his conduct over the past three years leads us to believe he can help us win football games and also become a productive member of this community.
In making our decision, we took a risk. In this case, the risk has an upside as well as a downside. We believe Joe has put this behind him and that he can turn into the player and community member that creates a plus for Cincinnati. We are going to do everything in our power to make this happen. Our hope is that time will prove that this opportunity is deserved, and perhaps – if given a chance – Joe can write a chapter in Cincinnati sports history that both he and Cincinnati can be proud of.”
Mixon may be a risk but there are plenty of fans in Oklahoma that are willing to bet that he’s going to be more of a reward to Cincinnati.