Friday, May 15, 2009
Former Highlands star Michael Mitchell
Below is a story written on FoxSports by Peter Schrager regarding Highlands product Micahel Mitchell being drafted in the second round of this years draft by the Oakland Raiders.
"Michael Mitchell: Forget the Raiders' somewhat controversial first-round selection of Darrius Heyward-Bey for a moment. I'm more fascinated by Oakland's second-round pick, the Mystery Man — Ohio safety Michael Mitchell.
Mitchell, the third safety taken in April's draft, was not invited to the NFL Scouting Combine in February. Mel Kiper Jr. had him listed as his 73rd-ranked safety on the board. Not 73rd-ranked player; 73rd-ranked safety. Rick Gosselin of the Dallas Morning News listed Mitchell as his 242nd-rated player on his board. I didn't include him in my entire seven-round mock draft. The NFL gives the media a giant book of player profiles for just about every prospect imaginable. The book is as thick as the Manhattan Yellow Pages. Mitchell didn't make the cut. There was not a single page on him.
So here's this kid, a relative unknown to the pundits, going No. 44 overall. In the weeks after the draft, we've been given a bit more info on the Mystery Man and there's a lot to like. Stuff like he was a three-year starter who led his team in interceptions last season. Stuff like his Pro Day workout included a 4.43 in the 40, 22 reps of 225 pounds on the bench press and a 37½-inch vertical leap. Stuff like the Bears were very hot on him and rumored to be ready to scoop him up with their second-round pick, and ultimately traded out of that spot once he was off the board.
At 6-1 and 220 pounds, Mitchell's an imposing physical presence at safety. Capable of playing either the free- or strong-safety positions, he offers versatility to a defensive backfield that's been pretty much Nnamdi Asomugha and a slew of underachievers the past few seasons.
The draft pundits had their laughs in April. I'm one of them.
But perhaps it's Mitchell (and in turn, Al Davis) having the last ones this season.
I can't wait to find out."