Mixon was the 48th overall pick in the draft, a spot that doesn't match his talent.
But drafting Mixon is much more than a football decision.
Mixon punched a female student at Oklahoma and knocked her unconscious, breaking bones in her face. The incident was captured on video and released publicly.
Because of off-field transgressions, including the physical assault and berating a parking meter employee in Norman, Okla., Mixon was not invited to the NFL Scouting Combine in February.
Mixon, who was second in the FBS in yards from scrimmage per game in 2016 with 193, could be groomed to replace Jeremy Hill. The Bengals' current starting running back was drafted out of LSU despite off-field concerns. Hill is a free agent after the 2017 season.
Mixon was impressive at his pro day and settled out of court with the victim in the video, Amelia Molitor, an Oklahoma student.
Molitor had accused Mixon of intentional infliction of emotional stress.
"I am happy we were able to bring the lawsuit to an end. Joe and I were able to meet privately, without any attorneys, and talk about our experiences since that night. I am encouraged that we will both be able to move forward from here with our lives," Molitor's statement read. "From our private discussions, I am satisfied that we are going to put this behind us and work toward helping others who may have found themselves in similar circumstances.
"I greatly appreciate his apology and I think the feelings he expressed were sincere. We both could have handled things differently. I believe if we had a chance to go back to that moment in time, the situation would not have ended the way it did."