Every year a wide receiver selected in the back end of the drafts out produces his draft spot and ends up becoming a massive steal. Last year, Minnesota selected Stefon Diggs in the fifth round and ended up being one of the better rookie wide receivers during the regular season. In 2014, players like Martavis Bryant, Allen Hurns and Jeff Janis saw many players less talented than them taken before they heard their name called. This year could be no different.
Georgia wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell is not quite the household name as of now. Like many talented SEC wide receivers, Mitchell was stuck with horrific quarterback play and a run-heavy offense at Georgia that held back his true playmaking ability. The word “sleeper” can be thrown around too much during the draft process but Mitchell is a player who deserves that label because the buzz on him is criminally low for a player this talented.
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Mitchell is a 6-foot-0, 198-pound, explosive playmaker who has the chance to step in from day one and make an impact on any team. Unfortunately, Mitchell will be a 23-year-old rookie and that may scare some teams away in the earlier rounds. As a senior, Mitchell had his best season at Georgia, hauling in 58 passes with 865 yards and five touchdowns in a pretty pathetic passing offense. Georgia named him the offensive team captain and the David Jacobs award which is given to the player who best portrayed courage, spirit, character and determination. Off-the-field Mitchell is one of the most genuine human being’s college football has to offer. He wrote his first children’s book in 2015 and plans to write many more as his career continues. He is talented both on and off the field and is someone who would upgrade any locker room in the NFL.
Let’s take a look at Mitchell’s Mock Draftable Chart which displays his measurables and analytics to other 2016 Combine participants.
His mock draftable chart is not the flashiest but does compare to some pretty talented NFL players like Sammy Watkins and Santonio Holmes. Mitchell has massive hands and an explosive lower body which shows up on film. His 40-yard dash time is great for a wide receiver with his playing style and should translate smoothly into the NFL. Mitchell is a player who should win in the NFL with his athleticism and route running.
Next, let’s turn our attention Mitchell’s Player Profile from www.playerprofiler.com
As you can see, Mitchell’s workout metrics are pretty high and that should not come as a shock to anyone. His agility score is the lowest of all because he simply is not the shiftiest of prospects but he does have some wiggle to him on the field. His comparison is spot on in my opinion, Mitchell and Agholor are clones on the field.
Now, Let’s take a look at the film because at the end of the day that is what really matters.
One of my favorite things about Mitchell is when the ball is in his hands he becomes a running back and is tough to bring down. Numerous times you will see it takes multiple defenders to bring him down after the catch. Mitchell has some serious big play potential and can win on jump balls despite his lack of size thanks to his explosive lower body. His best skill is his route running, he is smooth in and out of his breaks when he runs any route. Mitchell is a smooth football player and has no wasted motions during his route running. When it comes to running a route tree very few players do it as well as Malcolm Mitchell. His big hands allow him to be a reliable pass catcher with very few drops. In a pass-happy offense, he could flourish and win every time off the line.
Mitchell attacks the middle of the field with toughness and willingness to get hit across the middle. A lot of wide receivers show hesitation when running a slant or dig route across the middle, not this guy. He braces for all hits and shows incredible toughness during games which is something that is needed in the NFL.
Malcolm Mitchell has the chance to be a very good football player in the NFL. A team could be very happy and reap in the benefits if he falls too far in this draft. Look for Mitchell to get selected towards the end of day two and earlier day three. I have a third-round grade on Mitchell and like him more than players like Tyler Boyd and Rashard Higgins.
It’s tough to gauge Mitchell’s Dynasty Rookie value as of now, if he is selected to a pass happy team jump on him in early round two. If he selected to a run happy team he will be utilized like he was in college and that is not a good thing. He is someone who’s career path is going to be heavily influenced by the team’s offensive scheme he is selected by. He is a player to watch during the NFL draft.
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Not mentioned is this article is Mitchell’s lengthy injury history, which included an ACL tear a couple of years back. I think he had some form of injury every season of his college career. At one time in his Georgia career the coaches played him at DB for a little while due to his frame and athleticism. So I guess there’s always a chance that an NFL team could try that as well.
That being said, I do agree with the writer’s overall assessment of his talent and work ethic.