Route Running – Mitchell has suddenness and flexibility, which gives him potential as a route runner. He's yet to truly scratch the surface of that ceiling, but is obviously improving with his route running technique. One of the things Mitchell does well is open up his hips in order to come downhill towards the catch-point. He is difficult for defensive backs to drive on because he can snap his routes off quickly, then attack towards the quarterback. However, there are technique fixes that Mitchell will have to experience if he wants to truly develop into a consistent technician. Mitchell rarely stacks on vertical routes, forcing himself into too many contested spots. On top of that, he could use more forward lean and low pads while he breaks his routes off. He uses his lateral agility to clear himself, but then won't use his hands to disengage from the jam of the defensive back. As a result of this, he struggles to defeat contact in his stems or out of his breaks. Until these are fixed, Mitchell will be an inconsistent separator.
Athleticism/Speed – Smooth athlete with a developed lateral chain and balance. More sudden than he is fast, he's a flexible mover with bend. He's a taller receiver but lacks strength in his lower half, which limits his potential in various areas. His frame suggests that he could add muscle, but will need to do so without sacrificing explosiveness. Mitchell is a candidate to perform better in his agility drills than his 40 yard dash, as his long speed seems just average for the position.
Hands/Ball Skills – The main weakness in Mitchell's game is his awkward tracking of the football, and shaky hands as a result. In the Michigan State game alone, he had over the shoulder passes hit his near shoulder and wrists. Also, Mitchell's has the habit of rising towards the ball too early, nearly being back on the ground by the time the ball arrives. Rarely making clean catches with proper extension. Even when in position to fully extend and pluck the ball out of the air, he'll allow it to come closer to his body. Too often, Mitchell will cradle the ball against his body, even when given space. Really, really struggles with contact or disruption at the catchpoint. Curious lack of true ball skills limits his ability as a down the field receiver, as fails to win in contested situations. There have been a few flashes of Mitchell making full extensions grabs above the rim, but they are a rarity.
Body Control - For all of his faults in his tracking and ball skills, Mitchell has effortless body control and can contort his body with ease. Whether sticking his foot in the ground and flipping his hips at the last second or adjusting his body in mid-air, Mitchell's body positioning is almost never an issue. Will turn his shoulders while keeping his lower half in position to get feet down along the sideline. With the ball in his hands, he maintains proper pad level and can seemingly move in all directions on command.
Ball Carrier – The strength in Mitchell's game comes as a ball carrier, as he is one of the most slippery 6-foot-1 receivers I've scouted. Sudden with his cuts and adept with his lateral movement, Mitchell is difficult for tacklers to bring down square. He has a tremendous feel for tacklers and space, taking advantage of small pockets of space and picking up extra yards. Rarely will the first tackler bring him down, especially in pursuit. Feel for the game is shown with the ball in his hands, and his dead leg cut can make defenders looks foolish. Acceleration to top speed is apparent, just seemingly a bit limited with his long speed.
Stalk Blocking – Mitchell is a mostly ineffective stalk blocker, as the lack of power in his lower half limits his potential. On top of that, his technique needs improvement. Rarely will Mitchell approach the defensive back with speed and collapse space on them. He will either not give burst off of the line of scrimmage or overrun his approach, often times whiffing at space. When he does engage, he will rarely drive his feet and clear space for the ball carrier. Overall, this is an area where Mitchell needs a ton of improvement.
Versatility – Mitchell has over 20 career punt returns, but to minimal success. His real versatility comes as a receiver, as he can seemingly play from any alignment. With the size to play outside and shiftiness for slot duties, Mitchell was used as a movable piece at Oregon. This helps his projection because he won't be limited early on in his NFL career, showing enough traits to win in all levels of the field.
BEST TRAIT – Ball Carrier / YAC
WORST TRAIT – Ball Skills
RED FLAGS – None
Mitchell is an ascending talent who was productive in his junior season at Oregon. He declared early for the NFL Draft, which likely means favorable marks from the NFL Advisory Board. He has good size and agility, and is improving as a route runner. This gives him the ceiling of a WR2 at the next level, especially with youth on his side. He could have an immediate role in the underneath and screen game in the NFL, as a way to showcase his slippery running and contact balance.
However, Mitchell is a ways off before being refined enough to fill a starter's role. His route running technique needs to improve, as well as his stalk blocking and ball skills. All of these traits have flashed on film, so they are undoubtedly within his arsenal, now they just need to come with consistency.