Joe Mixon addressed his troublesome past. John Korduner/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Former Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon would likely be a lock to be taken in the first round or early second round of the NFL Draft if not for his checkered past. That past is something the 20-year-old insists he has grown from, and he hopes NFL teams are able to see that.

In his first interview since he declared for the draft, Mixon told Rick Maese of the Washington Post that he understands the fallout from the 2014 incident in which he punched a woman in the face.

“I made the decision on what I did and I’ve got to live with it,” he said. “At the same time, I can only learn from it. … It haunts me to this day.”

Mixon was not invited to the NFL Combine for obvious reasons, and he said he respects the NFL’s decision to leave him out. He also explained how the incident transformed him “from 18 to 40 in one night.”

“I feel like a lot of people don’t really know me,” Mixon added. “People portray me as one guy, as a bad guy. But at the end of the day, everybody who knows me knows that’s not me … I can’t control what other people think. That’s their thoughts and their feelings. I respect them for it, but at the same time, I know that’s not me.

“I’m just gonna be totally honest with what happened. I never told a lie about anything. At the end of the day, I’m gonna take full responsibility for my actions. I know it wasn’t right. If I could take it back, I will. But at the same time, I can’t go back. It’s what you do from there and that mistake. And as long as you learn from your mistakes, they’ll see improvement.”

Mixon punched a woman in the face and knocked her unconscious in July 2014, and the disturbing footage was released a few months ago. He was also suspended one game last season for an incident in which he allegedly berated a parking lot attendant.

While Mixon is one of the most talented players in the draft, analysts have predicted he will go anywhere from the first round to undrafted altogether. Several teams likely consider the former Sooners star to be untouchable.

This article first appeared on Larry Brown Sports and was syndicated with permission.

PLAYERS: Joe Mixon
TEAMS: Oklahoma Sooners
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