Prospects

Prospects
Photo of Mike Mitchell
Mike Mitchell (SS)
Height: 6'0"
Weight: 220
College: Ohio
Conference: Mid-American
Hometown: Ft. Thomas, KY
High School: Highlands
Featured Prospects
Selected by: Oakland Raiders
Round: 2
Pick (Overall): 15 (47)
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Pick Analysis: The Raiders continue to place a premium on speed and athleticism over production. Although Mitchell was regarded as a second day pick in most war rooms, the Raiders nab the workout warrior with their second-round choice.
  1. Overview
  2. Analysis
Overview

The hard-hitting, versatile defender has outstanding quickness and good power, showing that he can come up and make plays inside the box. He began his career as a free safety, shifting to strong safety during the 2006 GMAC Bowl, where he would line up for his final 22 games. Few safeties in the collegiate ranks showed the acceleration and closing speed that Mitchell possesses.


That speed was put to great use as a Bobcat. He would go on to register 212 tackles (126 solos), with 90 of those hits coming in run support, including 15 that he recorded behind the line of scrimmage. He also proved to be a steady ball hawk, defending 20 passes during his career and generating 140 yards on seven interception returns.


Mitchell was a well-rounded and respected student at Highlands High School, where he was a member of the Future Business Leaders of America and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. On the field, he lettered three times, twice earning Kentucky All-Star honors, in addition to being selected All-State honorable mention as a senior. That year, he led the Bluebirds to the state title, recording 87 tackles with three forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries, returning one for a touchdown.


Mitchell enrolled at Ohio University in 2005, seeing action in nine games at both safety positions as a true freshman. He delivered 21 tackles (16 solos) with a forced fumble and two pass deflections while playing mostly behind Todd Koenig at strong safety.


As a sophomore, he shifted to free safety at midseason, as the coaches wanted to get him and Koenig on the field at the same time. He started the team's final eight games, but shifted to strong safety for the GMAC Bowl. He finished fifth on the team with 55 tackles (27 solos) that included five stops behind the line of scrimmage. He also picked off a pair of passes and deflected two others.


In 2007, Mitchell took over strong safety duties, starting all 11 games he played in. He missed the Louisiana-Lafayette clash due to a right shoulder contusion and played in the last four contests wearing a cast to protect a broken bone in his right hand. He still managed to rank third on the squad with 74 tackles (47 solos), adding 1.5 sacks while knocking down four passes and intercepting two others.


The injury bug hit again in 2008, as Mitchell missed most of the Buffalo game and sat out vs. Bowling Green with a knee sprain. He placed fourth on the squad with 62 tackles (36 solos), making 4.5 stops for loss while causing two fumbles. He had five pass deflections and led the team with three interceptions.


High School

Attended Highlands (Fort Thomas, Ky.) High School, where he lettered three times, twice earning Kentucky All-Star honors, in addition to being selected All-State honorable mention as a senior...That year, he led the Bluebirds to the state title, recording 87 tackles with three forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries, returning one for a touchdown...Was a member of the Future Business Leaders of America and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.


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Analysis

Positives: Excellent size/speed combination with well-developed upper and lower bodies. Lights up receivers coming over the middle and running backs in the flat. Flies up from the deep backfield on blitzes and levels unsuspecting quarterbacks and ballcarriers coming into the hole. Has the range to cross the field after reading the quarterback's eyes. Good, not great, hands for the interception and has the speed to make yardage on the return. Fairly smooth in his backpedal, can change directions quickly when maintaining his balance.


Negatives: His interest in making the big hit causes him to miss tackles in the open field. Missile with limited instincts, and could be an injury risk because of the play he ways. Runs around blocks instead of taking them on and shedding using his hands. Usually sees the play in front of him; a read-and-react player who may struggle with misdirection and double moves at the next level. Has the speed to recover against MAC opponents, but may not against NFL receivers. Faced lower level of quarterback play and used his speed to catch up to weak downfield throws.


Compares To: JOSH BULLOCKS, New Orleans -- Mitchell might be a better fit at free safety because of his range, natural hands, good ball-hawking ability and ability to keep plays in front of him. He will have a few problems staying with deep receivers, but takes good angles to close, especially when playing inside the box.


Injury Report

2007: Left the Gardner-Webb game (9/01) after the second series and sat out the next game vs. Louisiana-Lafayette (9/08) after he suffered a right shoulder sprain, but an MRI revealed no structural damage...Played with his ankle heavily taped vs. Eastern Michigan (10/13) after he sprained it in practice (10/11)...Suffered a broken bone in his right hand vs. Bowling Green (10/27) and played in his final three games wearing a soft cast.


2008: Did not play vs. Bowling Green (11/08) after leaving during the first series of the Buffalo clash (10/28) with a knee sprain.


2009: Failed to complete the agility tests during Pro Day (3/12) due to a hamstring pull.


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