The Jacksonville Jaguars are in dire need of a running game. Joe Mixon is the starting running back to ignite Jacksonville’s rushing attack.
The Jacksonville Jaguars are in dire need of a starting running back. Chris Ivory rushed for 439 yards and only played in eleven games due to health issues in 2016. T. J. Yeldon rushed for 465 yards with an average of 3.6 yards/rush and one rushing touchdown. It was hardly the one-two punch fans hoped for prior to the season.
As a result of the 2016 season, the Jaguars must find a starter to relieve pressure off Blake Bortles. Jamaal Charles is still available as a free agent acquisition. Adrian Peterson might be an option due to his size and explosiveness. But both players are well past their respective primes.
The Jaguars need to draft a running back in the 2017 NFL Draft. ESPN’s Michael DiRocco reported that Jaguars general manager Dave Caldwell might have to select a running back. Who did Caldwell have in mind? Dalvin Cook and Leonard Fournette are the top two ranked running backs.
The Jaguars Should Have Their Eye On Joe Mixon As Their Starting Running Back.
First it is important to address the elephant in the room, Mixon has had off-the-field issues. As a freshman in 2014, Mixon struck a woman in the face, fracturing four bones, and ultimately submitted an Alford Plea (a guilty plea in criminal court while not admitting to guilt of the offense). He has apologized and has publicly stated “it’s never okay to hit a woman” via the Washington Post.
"“I take full responsibility for what happened,” the 20-year-old said in a Friday news conference, addressing the July 2014 incident for the first time publicly since video of his actions was released last week. “It’s never okay to hit a woman. Never. I’ll preach that to anybody.”"
For his actions, Mixon also faced suspension for one season. To some, that suspension was too light.
While previously deemed undraftable, Mixon’s draft stock is slowly rising. There have been reports of teams meeting with Mixon. In fact The Oklahoman suggests that there are reports that he may be a first round pick. Jacksonville should give Mixon a chance, especially in light of a recent report that one scout trusts Mixon and his one big mistake more than fellow top running back Dalvin Cook and his history.
Mixon gives the Jaguars the starting running back needed to ignite the ground attack. In two seasons at Oklahoma, he rushed for 2027 yards with 17 touchdowns and averaged over six yards per carry. He caught 65 passes for 894 yards and nine touchdowns, proving to be a reliable threat as a receiver as well as a runner.
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Furthermore, Jacksonville has options that they can utilize in an attempt to select Mixon. The Jags can trade out of the number four spot moving back in the first round. The Jags could also trade their 35 overall selection to jump back into the first to grab Mixon. Or, the Jags could stand pat in the second and hope Mixon’s off-field concerns scare other teams away.
Former Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew lists Mixon as the number one running back on his list. Most noteworthy, Jones-Drew has him as a starting running back for any NFL team. If the Jags are serious about creating a threatening running game, Mixon may be the running back the team needs. In a disciplined culture under executive vice president Tom Coughlin, it may be the perfect landing spot for a player who needs to shake his past mistakes and prove they won’t impact his play on the field.