Scouting Report: Malcolm Mitchell, WR

With the release of Brandon Lafell, the Patriots will need to find help at the WR position. Could Mitchell be a good option?

With the release of Brandon Lafell, the Patriots will need to find help at the WR position. Could Mitchell be a good option?

NEPD Staff Writer: Mike Gerken

The Patriots have made some moves recently that would indicate that they will be in the market for some new faces at the Wide Receiver position. We will find out in the next week or so if the team plans to fill that void in free agency or if they will opt to go with younger players from the draft. If the Patriots do decide to wait until the draft, a player that may be on their radar is Malcolm Mitchell from Georgia. Here is what I saw from reviewing his tape.

Name: Malcolm Mitchell (#26)

School: University of Georgia (Sr.)

Height: 6’0″ (combine)

Weight: 198 Lbs. (combine)

http://www.mockdraftable.com/player_embed/6122/selected/graph/

 

Positives:

Mitchell has a good combination of height, weight, and speed for the position.  While he did not run a complicated route tree at Georgia, he showed excellent skills in setting up defenders to get open.  Mitchell is very quick and he attacks defenders, getting them off balance and out of position. He can win with both his athleticism as well as his intelligence, which is rare for a college player. Mitchell is a very strong in and out of his cuts, showing excellent change of direction. He attacks the football with his large hands and uses them well to catch just about everything thrown at him. Mitchell has good speed and can stretch the field.  He tracks the ball well and has good timing on his jumps to high point the ball.  He is a strong player who can win jump ball situations and has the frame and mentality to be successful playing in traffic. Off the field, Mitchell sounds like a really good guy who took a negative (difficulty reading even in college) and made it a positive (wrote a children’s book and reads to grade school students on a regular basis.)

Negatives:

There is not a ton of negatives for Mitchell on the tape. His route tree was rather simplistic at Georgia, consisting of mainly slants and go routes, so there could be some growing pains learning a more complex form of football.  Mitchell lacks strength and struggles with physical corners. He will get pushed around and struggles in traffic. The big red flag for Mitchell is his injury history and his future durability concerns. He has had multiple knee injuries in college and where he is ultimately drafted could be determined by what the doctors have to say.

Overall:

As you can see by the relatively small write up in the negatives portion of this report, I really like Malcolm Mitchell.  His off field story is a good one and it shows a guy who is willing to work hard at something and then help others as well. I am shocked that Mitchell is not talked about more, especially in this WR class that is lacking star players. Mitchell has a great combination of athleticism to go a long with great hands. He has played a lot of different roles at Georgia so he is behind from a route running perspective, but he shows all the traits to be very good at the next level, he just needs time.  He has good straight line speed and good change of direction, so he has the potential to be a threat anywhere on the field. I think the knee issues are a concern, but if he had played injury free we would be talking about this guy much higher in the draft. His medical evalution will determine where he gets drafted, but from just the film, I think he is a 3rd round type of guy and he could be a steal if he goes any later than that.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

11 Responses to “Scouting Report: Malcolm Mitchell, WR”

  1. td says:

    Lately, Bill has signed free agents at needed positions in order to be flexible in the draft, thereby picking up some really good players via the best available. I think they have quite a bit of cap space after Mayo retired and they rid themselves of LaFell and Chandler plus little dead money.

    I heard Amani Toomer on Sirius NFL say that the Pat’s system of read option where the WR has to read the defense and take alternate action and be on same page as Brady is very difficult for a vet, never mind a rookie as to why a lot of WR’s don’t work out for them.

    • Russell says:

      Patriots salary cap is a moving number, but today it’s about $12.6 mil. of spending space. Patriots signed Develin to a 1 yr. deal, but will not resign Siliga, so the two are an even wash.

  2. ton says:

    sorry to have to be all negative nancy over here, but lets review why WRs bust in new england:

    1. injuries
    2. not grasping the playbook
    3. not being good route runners

    so the dude was injured a lot in college. point 1, check. had/has some form of learning disability, point 2, check. and finally, ran a simplistic route tree in athens ga. number 3, also check. i get that he seems like a good guy, but we’re talking football here. honestly i’d stay away from this guy, at least until like the 5th or 6th round, where it’s a crapshoot anyways.

    • Mike Gerken says:

      Valid argument Ton, but I want to clear a couple of things up. I will give you the injury concerns and that is something I can’t speak to because I don’t have his medical history or what the doctors have seen to know if this is chronic or bad luck.

      The learning disability one is a bit of a stretch. Because he-in the past-struggled with reading does not make him struggle to learn a playbook. I would argue that he shows the work ethic to learn and not give up.

      Finally, I never said he was a bad route runner. In fact, I think he has good footwork in and out of his breaks as well as to beat press coverage. He was limited in the types of routes he ran. There will be a learning curve to learn a more complicated system, but it is not because he is bad at it or doesn’t have the athleticism, physicality, or work ethic to do so.

      • td says:

        I agree, learning IQ does not equate to football IQ. Randy Moss was no Einstein, but he figured out the offense pretty fast. I have a friend that failed high school math, but could keep the score of a foursome for 18 holes in his head.

    • steve earle says:

      I kind of agree with ton yet hear what Mike says in response. The thing with me is I expect there are players of equal value, if not at WR, who do not have the injury bug, cronic bad luck or otherwise. I’m concerned when someone falls in love with this guy or that and when the guy has a cronic injury history it’s a big red flag for me. I confess to falling in love with a prospect sometimes but seldom anyone with the red cross lable beside his name. I’d save those guys for the later mid rounds 4th on down, just me.

    • Russell says:

      I agree with Mike, prospects work harder when they have too, and I think Mitchell’s work ethic is better than many WR’s, IMO. Work ethic carries a prospect farther than, natural talent with less effort.
      Still the Patriots system is not easy to grasp, so ANY rookie WR will make very limited impact year one.

    • Todti says:

      I think you can actually make the case that he’s more likely to thrive in the Patriots’ offense than the average rookie. He’s got the character and work ethic to dig his nose into the playbook and really take heed of the coaching. He’s got the (although not exceptional) athleticism to execute what’s asked of him. And he’s a good-enough route runner in the limited sample size to justify throwing a thicker playbook at him.

  3. Russell says:

    Coach Belichick at Auburn U. pro-day talked to WR Ricardo Louis 6’2″ 215 lbs, ran a 6.96 3-cone drill 4.32 shuttle.
    Also talked to LB Cassanova McKinzy.

  4. Russell says:

    Great job Mike! I to like this guy a lot !! His off the field story shows hard work to reach a goal. Very large hands (10 1/2″) , 6.94 in the 3-cone drill, 4.34 20 yd suttle, 15 reps. on the Bench. I think Mitchell “fits” in the Patriot family very well. He has moved up draft boards as most Mocks have him 4th round.
    Mitchell’s personality is what Coach Belichick likes to see, solid prospect.

  5. Todti says:

    Finally someone writing about the off-field story. He’s seems like a genuinely good guy and I hope the medical issues aren’t too bad. From what I’ve read, I think his floor is NFL level and that’s what I really like about him. He might not be a first or second option but he doesn’t need to be for the Patriots. I really like him.

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