Joe Mixon was one of the most touted RBs in the 2017 draft and for good reason. He would’ve been one of the top RBs off the board if it wasn’t for his off the field issues. He runs the ball well, has great vision and hands, and can pass block. There isn’t much Mixon couldn’t do coming into the league.
He struggled a bit in his rookie season, but never got consistent volume in the run game. When he did get volume, he didn’t necessarily perform, and a lot of that had to do with offensive line struggles. In fact, the Bengals were in the bottom third at creating yards before contact. They haven’t done anything yet to fix these issues, so we should expect them to get some help in the draft.
Despite Mixon’s ability on the field in passing situations, Gio Bernard was the team’s main pass-catching back in those situations and on 3rd down. Marvin Lewis has a history of not giving rookies too much playing time, but having Jeremy Hill, Mixon, and Gio in a rotation early in the season was something we had to question. With Gio still one of Lewis’ guys, we should expect Gio to continue his role as the passing-down back.
Mixon is very talented and has huge upside if given the reigns, but 2018 doesn’t seem to have the opportunity for him that we all want for fantasy purposes. Once he gets consistent volume, has an average offensive line, Marvin Lewis is gone will be enough for me to target him in drafts. Once he plays on all three downs, that’s when he’ll have high-end RB1 potential. Just not yet.
What is your outlook for Mixon this year? Can he overcome these issues and produce for fantasy purposes in 2018? Let me know!