Joe Mixon is expected to be drafted by an NFL franchise next week.
Wherever the pro city, the former Oklahoma running back will have detractors upset that their favorite team selected the polarizing athlete.
It has been nearly three years since a well-publicized incident occurred near the OU campus. Some will never forget Mixon punching Amelia Molitor in July 2014.
Mixon’s agent, Peter Schaffer, told the Tulsa World on Wednesday how the situation would be handled after his client lands on an NFL team.
“He’s got his eye on the prize. He knows what he wants to do on the field and off the field,” Schaffer said. “He’s going to focus on being the best person that he can be and hopefully convince the people that doubt him right now that he is a good person and reconfirm with the people that support him that he’s a good person every day. That’s the goal.”
The NFL draft will be held April 27-29 with first-round selections on Thursday, second- and third-round picks on Friday, and the final four rounds on Saturday.
Schaffer was asked to describe his agency’s strategic plan to introduce Mixon to franchises that had questions.
“I wouldn’t call it a strategic plan. I would just say we talked about how he has to be direct and up front and let people get to know him,” Schaffer said. “Not going to the (NFL combine) actually turned out to be a blessing because as opposed to having 15-minute interviews at the combine with each team, 15 or so teams brought him in and he got to spend the whole day with them.
“I think that’s boded well for him. People have been able to spend some time with him and get to know him and understand where he’s coming from.”
Schaffer’s representation of Mixon isn’t solely based on the player’s on-the-field success. The agent used words like “engaging, humble, caring” and even went as far as saying “he’s really sort of a sweetheart, to be honest with you” when describing the 20-year-old.
“He’s been an impressive young man in many levels. Part of it is that he’s grown and has been forced to go from 18 years old to 30 basically overnight,” Schaffer said. “He didn’t get to have the 19- and 20-year-old experiences because of what has happened.
“At the same time, we are all products of our lives and our experiences. He’s been presented with unique experiences that have created the person that he is today. Some of them obviously he regrets. But all of them, he’s learned from.”
A ProFootballTalk story released Wednesday morning announced that Mixon’s draft stock could drop because of an alleged high school incident. A few hours later, the story was refuted by Schaffer on social media and later recanted on the website.
“It’s part of the process. It’s part of the job description,” Schaffer said about the mini-crisis.
Mixon will watch the NFL draft with his family in California.
While there are reports that some teams won’t have Mixon on their draft board, there are projections showing Mixon as a second- or third-round pick.
Does Schaffer think Mixon could be drafted Thursday night, which is reserved for first-round selections? His answer was non-committal.
“That’s really not up to me. I’ve never — regardless of the player — looked at the draft as the end all, be all. The draft will never define a player,” Schaffer said. “It is what they do on the field and off the field for the next decade that will define their career.
“We’re going to let Joe and all our other players who are fortunate enough to go in the draft let their career be defined by what they are going to do.”