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Kiper’s ‘Grade A’ mock: Lions take Mixon in 2nd round

Justin Rogers
The Detroit News

Allen Park — There continues to be a great deal of intrigue where Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon will be selected in the upcoming draft, and ESPN analyst Mel Kiper believes the Detroit Lions would be wise to take the troubled prospect.

In his “Grade A” mock draft, where Kiper lays out ideal scenarios for all 32 teams, Kiper has the Lions drafting Mixon in the second round.

“I might be tempted to go running back in Round 1 for the Lions if Christian McCaffrey or Leonard Fournette somehow made it to 21,” Kiper writes. “In this case, I’m giving Detroit the most talented back in this class, Mixon, in the second round. He has off-the-field issues and won’t be on the draft boards for every team, but he’s a phenomenal all-purpose player.”

Mixon is most known for a 2014 altercation at a Norman, Oklahoma, restaurant, where he punched a woman in the face, breaking her jaw. He also had an issue in November 2015, when he tore up a parking ticket and threw it in the issuing officer’s face, resulting in a one-game suspension.

Asked how he would react to Mixon being added to the Lions’ locker room, wide receiver Golden Tate claimed he didn’t know who the prospect was, but said he trusts the team’s front office to make the best decisions.

“Personally, I trust our scouting department,” Tate said. “I trust ownership. I trust our head coach. I know they’re going to bring in whatever they think is necessary to help us win games.”

In addition to Mixon, Kiper gave the Lions cornerback Kevin King in the first round and Ohio defensive end Tarell Basham in the third.

King checks off all the boxes you could want in a defensive back. He stands 6-foot-3 and weighs 200 pounds with long limbs, top-end speed and impressive leaping ability. He ran the 40-yard dash in 4.43 seconds at the combine and his 39.5-inch vertical was the second-best among corners.