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Volume 20 No. 41
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Mixon, barred from combine, will make his case on pro day

Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon has not been invited to the NFL combine but will work out for clubs at his university’s pro day a few days later, his agent said.

“He will be at the pro day in Norman, Okla., four days after the combine,” said Peter Schaffer, Mixon’s agent and Authentic Athletix president and founder. “Teams will get everything they need from him out at the pro day and after the pro day. The fact that he wasn’t invited to the combine will have zero effect on his draft.”

Mixon is not invited to the NFL combine because of an incident in 2014 in which he punched a female student and broke bones in her face after she pushed and slapped him. He was suspended his freshman year, entered an Alford plea to a misdemeanor and was required to perform community service. He is still facing a civil lawsuit from the woman, although two-thirds of it has been dismissed.

Under NFL rules, “draft-eligible prospects will not be permitted to participate in any aspect of the Combine if a background check reveals a conviction of a felony or misdemeanor involving violence or use of a weapon, domestic violence, sexual offense and/or sexual assault,” NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy wrote in an email.

Oklahoma’s Joe Mixon talks about his legal troubles during a December news conference.
Photo by: AP IMAGES
However, “individual clubs are free to independently determine the draft-eligible prospects they wish to evaluate, including those who have demonstrated conduct that restricted their invitation to the Combine. These evaluations may take place at any location permitted under League rules,” he wrote. This is the second year this rule has been in place.

Mixon broke Oklahoma’s single-season record for all-purpose yards when the school beat Auburn in the Sugar Bowl in January.

This is a year rich with running backs, according to Rob Rang, CBS Sports senior NFL draft analyst. Rang has Florida State’s Dalvin Cook ranked No. 1 at the position and No. 4 overall. Rang has Mixon ranked as the fifth running back overall, projected to go in the third round. The punching incident played a part in that draft ranking, Rang said.

“Mixon is an exceptional talent who would be very much in the first-round conversation along with Cook, LSU’s Leonard Fournette and Stanford’s Christian McCaffrey if not for the character concerns,” Rang said. “Because of the nature of Mixon’s mistake, as well as the fact that it is on video and was made public, he will be off many teams’ boards and therefore could slip entirely out of the draft.”

Nevertheless, Rang has him ranked as a third-rounder because NFL clubs may be willing to give someone with Mixon’s talent another chance, he said.

In addition to Mixon, Schaffer has signed several other prospects including Miami safety Rayshawn Jenkins, Florida State cornerback Marquez White, LSU linebacker Tashawn Bower and Air Force safety Weston Steelhammer.

> WME SIGNS TEIXEIRA, DOES ESPN DEAL: WME signed retired MLB first baseman Mark Teixeira and negotiated his recently announced multiyear broadcast deal with ESPN.

A team of agents including Jim Ornstein, Stan Kaufman, Josh Levy and Dan O’Connor is representing Teixeira.

Teixeira announced he was retiring from the field last fall after 14 years in the majors. He played for the Rangers, Braves, Angels and Yankees, including the 2009 World Series champs, and was named an All-Star three times.

ESPN announced earlier this month that Teixeira was joining the network as an MLB analyst in a multiyear deal in which he would contribute to studio coverage, “SportsCenter” and additional platforms, including ESPN Radio.

Liz Mullen can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @SBJLizMullen.