“He’s [Joe Mixon] going to be our bell-cow running back.”
– Duke Tobin, Bengals Director of Player Personnel at the 2018 NFL Combine
We might be in the heart of the NFL offseason, but that doesn’t mean the RSJ is going to kick our feet up and take it easy for the next handful of months. No, no, no. There’s too much information coming out now to store in the back of your #bigbrain to take into account come draft time in the summer.
Here we have Bengals second year back and Pickleman’s Gourmet Cafe patron, Joe Mixon. Mixon was drafted in the second round after slipping due to his off the field issues and was seemingly destined to lead the Bengals backfield going forward. He was kept on a proverbial leash, only surpassing 20 carries in two games, while recording one 100-yard effort. He failed to break away from Gio Bernard, and only recorded four touchdowns on the year. It was a pretty disappointing year for Mixon who was being drafted around the fourth round and was some teams’ RB1 or a solid RB2.
Bengals Director of Player Personnel Duke Tobin took to the podium today and offered some news that’s sure to turn the heat up on Mixon’s stock going forward. While being asked about his rookies from last year, Tobin said; “Joe really came on for us in the later part of the year, second half of the season. He’s going to be our bell cow running back. We are going to combine him with Gio and we really feel good about that position group.”
As we all know, The Wolf loves two things more than practically anything: bell-cows and target hogs. I’m sure when he saw those two words associated with Mixon, he looked up from his fresh carcass of meat being torn to shreds and let out quite the howl towards the moon.
We know Mixon has the talent to be a special player in the NFL. On talent alone he would have been a first round pick and his ceiling is still sky high. With a year under his belt and the Bengals to hopefully feature him more in the run game, we’re looking at a starting back that is likely to see his fantasy ADP drop after a disappointing rookie year. Bernard will still mix in as a change of pace back and handle a some receiving duties, but hopefully takes a back seat to let Mixon roll.
The Bengals have a lot of talent on the offensive side of the ball and should be lightyears better in 2018 than they were in 2017. If Dalton can get the offense in a better rhythm, Mixon and everyone else’s play should be elevated to greater heights. Right now I’d have Mixon as a pretty solid RB2, preferably a guy I’d like to see in my flex, but an acceptable RB2.