Lions GM Bob Quinn Says Joe Mixon Not Attending NFL Combine Is 'Disappointing'

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistMarch 2, 2017

Detroit Lions general manager Bob Quinn speaks during a press conference at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis, Wednesday, March 1, 2017. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
Michael Conroy/Associated Press

Detroit Lions general manager Bob Quinn said the team would be open to drafting Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon and that it was "disappointing" the NFL chose not to invite him to the NFL Scouting Combine.

"We're going to leave the door open on Joe. I think it's really disappointing that Joe's not here," Quinn told reporters Wednesday. "We come here to see the best college football players in college football. So there's 330, 340-some odd players here. Him not being here, because of those issues, personally I don't think that's real fair because we have a lot of investigation that we want to do on him and to get him in one spot for all the teams would have been great."

Mixon, perhaps a first-round prospect based on talent, might have the draft's most unclear stock heading into the combine. His 2014 misdemeanor assault charge for striking a woman in an Oklahoma restaurant left him ineligible for the trip to Indianapolis due to a new NFL rule forbidding past criminal issues.

Video of the incident was released to media outlets in December. The woman, Amelia Molitor, suffered a broken jaw, eye socket and cheekbone. She is suing Mixon.

"I'm not part of those decisions about how guys are chosen but I think it is a disappointment that guys like him, there's a few others you can put in that category, that we're going to be chasing around the month of March and April and it's really unfair to the players to be honest with you," Quinn told reporters. "So the door is open and I'd like to be able to get a chance to sit down with the people that know Joe or Joe and see what the circumstances were around the incident."

Mixon rushed for 2,027 yards and 17 touchdowns in two seasons at Oklahoma. He and Samaje Perine, also a draft prospect, split carries for most of that period. Mixon was seen as the more total-package back, catching balls out of the backfield and breaking yardage in chunks. Each of his last seven collegiate games saw him break a gain of 20-plus yards.

"I made a bad decision," Mixon told PFT Live. "Ever since that night I have to live with it. I've got to re-live it every day. You can never forget something like that. It still haunts me to this day, but it's what you do from that point on. You can't take it back. I can replay it in my head a thousand times, and if I could take it back I would, but I can't."

Quinn said there would need to be a "long conversation" internally before drafting Mixon. Detroit owner Martha Ford was honored last year for the franchise's zero-tolerance policy on domestic violence. Linebacker DeAndre Levy has also been outspoken regarding violence against women.