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NFL Draft Prospect Profile: Georgia WR Malcolm Mitchell

Mitchell could prove to be a Day 2 steal at WR in the draft.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Another receiver I'm very high on in the draft is Georgia's Malcolm Mitchell. Mitchell comes from a Pro Style offense at Georgia, which has sent a lot of players to the NFL with a good chunk of them turning out as high draft picks. The Patriots have had issues taking players whose athleticism would project into their passing game instead of picking up guys that can run routes and aggressive hands catchers. Mitchell fits into the latter category, as his size and speed aren't going to threaten any good outside man corners but he can make plays on the ball.

Mitchell stands at 5'11" 194, but has just a tick under 33" arms and 10 3/8" hands so the catch radius is larger than people give credit for. Mitchell started off at Georgia as a two-way player, playing both CB and WR before settling at the latter for the next two years. Mitchell had a productive start to his Georgia career with 85 catches for 1200 yards and 8 TD his first two years before an ACL tear ended his 2013 season before it could start. Mitchell has battled health issues over his entire career at Georgia, only being able to start all of his teams games in 2015. Due to how the Georgia offense operates, Mitchell got only 58 catches for 865 yards and 4 TD his senior year. That's not eye-popping, but considering Georgia's talent at the RB position, it's not surprising.

Mitchell isn't the polished route runner that Leonte Carroo is, but one thing you can't teach is the big catching radius for a 5'11" guy. Mitchell should be able to contribute immediately on Special Teams as a returner or coverage player while he waits for his opportunity on offense. He shows a knack for is being able to make to make sharp cuts, sell double moves, and high-point the ball, which suggests he could be effective in this offense. One issue that bugs me is he can be taken out of the game by physical CBs both at the line and at the top of his stem. That can be fixed with an improvement in technique.

Overall, I think Mitchell offers a good consolation prize at 92 if the Patriots can't land Leonte Carroo at 60. Mitchell is a high character and smart guy that the Patriots should look for at the WR position. Teams will be digging hard into his medicals due to health issues including an ACL tear in 2013. Biggest issues going into the combine will be about his speed and durability. That should keep him out of the top two rounds of the draft for now. Of all the WR in the draft, I have the strongest hunch that they'll draft Mitchell.