Our NFL rookie profile series continues with this analysis of 2019 NFL Draft Prospect Dillon Mitchell, WR of Oregon. You can also check out all of our NFL Draft Prospect articles here. We will continue to provide you with these in-depth rookie profiles and a ton of other fantasy football rookie analysis right up through the NFL Draft. Stay tuned, and stay ahead of your league!
As we analyze and evaluate all of these rookies, it has become ever more clear than before that this is the deepest wide receiver class we have seen in a while. Dillon Mitchell is a bit of an unknown.
Mitchell’s draft stock could depend heavily on how teams view him as a person just as much as a player. There have been questions about his work ethic among other things, so let’s jump in and break down his profile.
Mitchell was a top-level recruit coming out of high school after winning Tennessee’s Gatorade Player of the Year award as a senior (62-1,143-31) while playing at White Station High School in Memphis. Mitchell was a two-sport athlete in high school as he also excelled as a guard in high school basketball (he was even privately coached by former NBA star Penny Hardaway), but eventually chose football over the hardwood.
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Statistics from sports-reference.com.
Mitchell planned to take 2016 as a redshirt year but changed his mind and ended up playing as a reserve receiver. Then in 2017, Mitchell led the Ducks in receiving, but due to the injury to starting quarterback Justin Herbert, passing totals were way down.
Mitchell exploded in 2018 as a junior and put his name on the map as an NFL prospect. He led the Pac-12 in receiving, with 1,184 yards while scoring ten touchdowns on 75 receptions, which gave him ALL-Pac-12 honors. The 1,184 yards was also a school record. Mitchell rode the momentum of his junior year, and decided to declare for the NFL draft.
When watching the tape, I am a bit confused and perplexed. At times, I see a wide receiver who can simply use his athleticism to beat corners from either route running or breakaway speed. But other times, I see someone who is lackadaisical and doesn’t compete.
This falls in line with what has been said about Mitchell at certain times in his career. Some NFL scouts are concerned with his maturity level and work ethic in the weight room.
I see quite a few things I like on tape though, the first being that he can make an impact from either the outside or from the slot. That versatility could help him land on an NFL roster. He also does a really good job of fighting through contact while the ball is in the air, and then does a good job of pulling in highly physical catches.
He also has a very thin frame which is a concern with bigger corners who could press him at the next level. He would also benefit himself if he played faster and more consistently on each play as he seems to take plays off.
When you look at Mitchell’s spider graph courtesy of Mock Draftable, it is average at best. The chart emphasizes his small frame as he is in the 39th percentile or below for weight, wingspan, arm length, and hand size. He is 6’2” and ran a 4.46-second 40-yard dash – a good time – but needs to bulk up. Will he have the discipline to get in the weight room or work on his hands at the next level? Many scouts will be asking that question.
Based on measurables and play style, Mitchell reminds me a lot of Jeremy Maclin (when Mitchell puts forth the effort). Both players made big plays on a regular basis, and both players were a threat to take it to the house once they get the ball in their hands due to their above average “after the catch” ability. Both players also relied too heavily on their athletic profile instead of effort or technique.
According to DLF’s April 2019 Rookie Dynasty ADP, Mitchell is currently going undrafted, and I can see why. When a player that lacks discipline and drive has star-like qualities, people are willing to take a chance. On the flip-side, when a player is an average prospect with those same type of red flags, people will be more than willing to pass.
Mitchell is projected by many scouts to be selected as a sixth-seventh round draft pick, and unless he goes somewhere that is a perfect fit and allows him to showcase what he can do, I would keep Mitchell off of your roster (unless you have taxi squads).
Mitchell’s talent has never been questioned, and he could very well turn into a productive wide receiver at the next level, but that is more or less up to him. He will need to develop a steady work ethic in the weight room and on the practice field in order to prove to coaches that he is ready to make the jump.
I live about an hour south of Eugene Oregon, so I had the pleasure of watching Mitchell’s talent first hand, and at times it was incredible to watch. Other times, you were left scratching your head. Time will tell which one we will see in the NFL.
Follow me on Twitter @LeviChappell.
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