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Quinyon Mitchell Has Solidified Himself as CB1 of The 2024 Draft

Every draft cycle, there are a couple to a few prospects who I firmly believe will become superstars at the NFL Level. This year, of course, is no different. It’s easy to pick out the Marvin Harrison’s and Caleb Williams of the World, But I like to dig just a little bit deeper.


This is where the focal point of today’s prospect profile comes into play, Toledo Rockets Quinyon Mitchell. Mitchell has thoroughly impressed at the Senior Bowl this week, so let's do a deeper dive.


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STRENGTHS

Quinyon Mitchell is a long, rangy corner, with a filled-out 6’0 197 pound frame. The name of Mitchell’s game is productive, he has had an excellent 2 season stretch in Toledo. In 2022, Mitchell played 837 snaps across 13 games, he totaled 41 tackles, 3.5 tackles for a loss, 5 interceptions, 2 pick-sixes, and 19 pass breakups. Not to mention, an unbelievable 32.4 passer rating against. In 2023, Mitchell totaled 41 tackles, 2 for a loss, 1 interception, and 18 pass breakups—elite, consistent, ball production. 


Mitchell plays a good amount of off-man and zone coverage. His route-recognition ability is excellent. Mitchell does a nice job reading routes from his landmarks and squatting before driving downhill. He uses a side-saddle or bail technique to keep everything in front of him and prevent the deep ball. As I mentioned before, Mitchell has tremendous ball skills and production over the last two seasons. He battles at the catch point with an entitled attitude. He is as competitive and disruptive as any CB I’ve studied in this class at the catch point. I love how he attacks the receiver’s hands and punches through the pocket to force incompletions.


Mitchell is skilled at undercutting routes and creating turnover opportunities. He anticipates the receiver’s break and drives on the ball. Mitchell is a fluid mover, he has loose hips and good transitional speed. While he’s not the fastest corner, Mitchell has good top-end speed, and won’t lose any speed transitioning from his backpedal either. Mitchell mirrors underneath routes very well and does a good job of keeping most plays in front of him. Mitchell also provides some pop as a tackler, crushing receivers on the sideline to force the ball out at the catch point. 


WEAKNESSES

Now Mitchell, like every other prospect, comes with his fair share of areas that he can improve on. Mitchell rarely aligns in press-man, leading to questions about his recovery speed. Can he lose early and recover to get back into phase with speed? I’m not entirely sure about that, the combine & his pro day will tell us a little more. Mitchell’s stride as a runner is a little restricted and footwork can be choppy at times. His pre-snap alignment could improve to ensure he’s also playing to the strengths of the defensive coverage. 


While I love Mitchell’s aggressiveness to trigger and drive downhill, he can be a little over-aggressive and completely sell out for the big play. There are opportunities made available to catch him with a double move and draw him downhill to open a deep shot down the field. His backpedal is adequate but there can be lateness or delays in his switch to running. He needs to get a little better with anticipating that switch and hop out of his back pedal just a split second sooner. 


SCHEME FIT

In terms of a scheme Fit for Quinyon Mitchell, we have to take into account his speed, while good, it’s not elite, and his recovery speed remains in question. Since he rarely lines up in Press-man, I would like to see Mitchell in a Cover 3 or Off-man defensive scheme. I think that will maximize his strengths, and let him be as aggressive as he wants. 


TEAM FITS

Here are 5 Teams that I think could Potentially draft Quinyon Mitchell in the 2024 NFL Draft:


Miami Dolphins

 I’m thinking about this one a little differently, If Questions arise about Mitchell’s speed, he could be deployed as a ball-hawking safety. Safety is one of the biggest needs for the Dolphins this off-season. 


Detroit Lions

Mitchell is a perfect fit in the Lions system. The Lions' defense is in desperate need of a take-charge Boundary playmaker, and Mitchell is exactly what they are looking for. 


San Francisco 49ers

The Niners are a team that doesn’t need a whole lot. Still, they could use a boundary corner upgrade or another ball-hawking safety. Mitchell’s potential versatility would be taken advantage of. 


Pittsburgh Steelers

The thought of Mitchell and Joey Porter Jr. playing on opposite sides of the field was too good not to mention. The Steelers would be set up nicely for the future. 


Arizona Cardinals

The Cards are one of those teams that need upgrades all over the defense. Mitchell would be a welcomed addition as an aggressive playmaker. 


PRO COMPARISON

My Pro Comparison for Quinyon Mitchell is Charvarious Ward. Ward is a pass-breakup machine, is incredibly physical at the catch point, and is always attacking the receiver's hands. He led the NFL this past season with 23 pass breakups. Mitchell and Ward have a similar frame and playing style. While I think Ward is just a little faster than Mitchell, it’s not a huge separation. It makes me comfortable to leave Mitchell on the boundary. 


QUINYON MITCHELL DRAFT PROJECTION

Overall, Quinyon Mitchell has the physical foundation of a high-level playmaker, and he has the instincts of one too. Particularly in off-man and zone, he’s adept at recognizing routes and breaking early on passes, and at the catch point, he’s coordinated, aggressive, and exhaustive with his length. 


Mitchell is an incredible playmaker, but he’s not a home run or bust either, I believe Mitchell could be moved all over the secondary at the NFL Level, and his versatility will be coveted, I think Mitchell will be drafted between picks 15-35 of the 2024 NFL Draft.


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