There were hints last season that Joe Mixon would become a great running back in the NFL, and the Bengals need him to be just that this season.
Before the start of last season, few had even heard of Joe Mixon in the NFL.
His career at Oklahoma was marred by his assault history, and many insiders thought that, because of those legal woes, he would be a third or fourth-round pick, despite having the talent to go in the first round.
So no one really knew what to make of Mixon, but the Cincinnati Bengals, who were in need of a running back, decided to take a chance on the 6-foot-1 back and drafted him in the second round of the 2017 NFL Draft.
That faith has largely paid off.
In his first season, Mixon intrigued some of his doubters by rushing for 721 yards and five touchdowns. Mixon also displayed a remarkable knack for catching the ball, notching 35 receptions for 341 yards. While the Bengals overall had an off-year, there were hints that Mixon could have a breakout year this season.
After a middling start to his career, Mixon is continuing to climb the heights of NFL stardom. The youngster is an important cog to the Bengals offense, and he has the potential to really become a household name in the Queen City and behind.
In Week 1, Mixon rushed for 95 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries in a win over the Indianapolis Colts. On Thursday night, the former Oklahoma star has 54 yards on the ground despite being hampered by a knee injury (the game is in the fourth quarter at the time of publishing).
The one potential problem is that he may have an “A.J. Green Problem,” in which he won’t get recognized because he plays in a small market, for a team that hasn’t won anything.
Like Green, though, that shouldn’t stop people from believing that we’re witnessing a star on the rise in Mixon, because we are.