clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

2016 NFL Draft: Why Would the Patriots Draft Georgia WR Malcolm Mitchell?

The Patriots have added another receiver to their corps and it's a great fit.

Alright, take a step back and pretend for a moment that the Patriots selected Georgia wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell at 91st overall and N.C. State quarterback Jacoby Brissett at 112th overall.

I'd be thrilled with an opening three picks of Cyrus Jones, Joe Thuney, and Mitchell. I understand Vincent Valentine as a major athletic project. And if the Patriots took a back-up quarterback in the 4th round to be the eventual replacement for Jimmy Garoppolo, I could live with that.

In the grand scheme of the midrounds, 20 picks is fairly negligible. The value of Brissett and Mitchell are fairly equal. It's not a big deal.

And since the Patriots added Mitchell as the 112th overall pick, I'm absolutely happy with how the Patriots draft has played out thus far.

Mitchell is a draft binkie of mine. He's compared to Lions, and former Bengals, wide receiver Marvin Jones and the Patriots really wanted Jones in free agency. Mitchell is 5'11, 200 lbs, with a wing span more similar to a 6'3 football player and he already runs the routes that the Patriots ask of their outside receivers (thank goodness).

But the real reason I'm a fan is that he's shown the ability to carry a passing attack. The Patriots have a history of taking questionable wide receivers that offer athleticism but little production. Aaron Dobson, the 2nd round pick in 2013, collected a mere 19.7% of Marshall's passing attack in his final season. Mitchell almost doubled that with 35.9% of Georgia's passing offense.

It also helps that Mitchell comes from a Pro Style passing attack, unlike the majority of the Patriots recent early-round receiver picks that have come out of the spread.

Mitchell will compete with free agent acquisitions Chris Hogan and Nate Washington, and the aforementioned Dobson, to replace Brandon LaFell as the team's outside wide receiver. It's likely that Hogan and Mitchell will be the team's two outside receivers in 2016.

Julian Edelman and Keshawn Martin are the flankers, and Danny Amendola control the slot. There's now the possibility that Hogan can play in the slot if Amendola is unwilling to restructure his contract, while Mitchell can hold down the outside.

The Patriots really needed to infuse youth into the position as Edelman and Amendola will both be over 30-years-old after this season. Hogan, Mitchell, and maybe Martin is a good group to develop around.