Bengals Mixon, Lawson reflect on last year since they were drafted

Cincinnati Bengals running back Joe Mixon said he does have any insight as to where his former Oklahoma teammate, Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Baker Mayfield, will get drafted this week.

But there’s one place Mixon is rooting against.

“Hell no I don’t want to play Baker twice,” he said when asked if he hopes Mayfield ends up with the AFC North Division rival Cleveland Browns, who have the first and fourth overall picks Thursday night.

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“I want him on my team,” Mixon added. ” I mean, I know it’s not going to work like that, but at the end of the day, wherever he goes I just hope we ain’t playing him. That’s just what I’ve seen in the past. I know it’s a different level, but I’m sure wherever he ends up he’ll make an impact right away and I’m sure he’ll be that ‘it’ factor that team is looking for.”

A year ago, Mixon was in the same situation Mayfield and the other draft-eligible prospects find themselves in this week, waiting to see when they’ll be picked and by whom.

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“Now that you all bring it up, it seems like it was just yesterday,” said Mixon, whom the Bengals drafted in the second round, 48th overall, in 2017.

“It was definitely super overwhelming, but I made it here and I’m blessed to be here,” he added Monday afternoon as the Bengals began their second week of voluntary offseason workouts.

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Defensive end Carl Lawson, a fourth-round pick last year, was more blunt about his draft experience.

“It sucked,” Lawson said of waiting around until the third day to hear his name called. “I’m going to have that chip on my shoulder for the rest of my career.”

Lawson used that motivation to not only emerge as the top defensive rookie on the team, but one of the top defensive players overall as he finished with 8.5 sacks, just shy of Geno Atkins’ team-leading 9.0.

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Named to a number of all-rookie teams, Lawson said he appreciated all the accolades he received but come July, his mindset will rewind 365 days.

“When we start training camp again, I’m back to a clean state where I’ve done nothing,” he said. “Last year was a growing phase, understanding what the league was like. Building off of that, if I stay healthy, I can be as good as I want to be.”

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