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2016 NFL Draft: WRs Malcolm Mitchell and Devin Lucien Have a Very Similar Athletic Profile

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Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Patriots made two WR picks on the 3rd day of the draft. In the 4th round, they took Georgia's Malcolm Mitchell and in the 7th round they took Arizona State's Devin Lucien. Mitchell is a lock to make the Patriots roster this year due to his high draft status whereas Lucien will have to outperform his competition significantly in order to land a roster spot.

From an offensive standpoint, the two WR prospects come from two completely different styles of offense. Lucien comes out of a spread offense at both UCLA and Arizona State and was more of a late riser in 2015. Malcolm Mitchell came out of a Pro Style Offense that is run by a former NFL Offensive Coordinator Brian Schottenheimer and was a consistent presence in their lineup his entire college career.

Player School/Offense HT WT Arm Hand Wingspan 10 20 40 SS 3C VERT BJ
Malcolm Mitchell UGA/Pro 6'0" 198 32 7/8" 10 3/8" 6'3" 1.54 2.57 4.45 4.34 6.94 36 10'9"
Devin Lucien ASU/Spread 6'1" 201 31 7/8" 10 1/8" 6'4" 1.53 2.57 4.49 4.30 6.93 34 9'9"

*Courtesy of NFL Draft Scout

Size, speed, and agility are very similar between the two prospects. Both players are roughly 6 feet tall, larger than 10" hands, and a wingspan north of 6'3". Speed wise, they have similar numbers in the 10 and 20 splits, although Mitchell's numbers come from the Combine and Lucien is at his Pro Day's. The one area where Mitchell is superior is the standing jump (aka broad jump), where he out-jumps Lucien by a whole foot. That suggests that Mitchell is better at exploding out of breaks and is better at catching jump balls than Lucien. Mitchell is more accustomed to the Patriots offense and their option routes, since those were part of the Georgia offense.

Both WRs should get plenty of reps in the preseason games with Jimmy Garoppolo throwing to them. Mitchell is battling for the #3 WR role with Julian Edelman and Chris Hogan currently entrenched as the two starters. I'd guess the Patriots are carrying 5 WRs on their 53-man roster although they may keep a guy they think might not make it through waivers until after Week 1 if necessary like with Chris Harper last year. In the case of Lucien, they probably don't have a need for him on the roster in 2016 but they probably want to keep him around for the future. Overall this year, their WR picks are better than in years past when they drafted players out of spread offenses and were never asked to adjust their routes to the coverages.