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2024 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Quinyon Mitchell

After an outstanding performance at the Reese's Senior Bowl, Quinyon Mitchell has really made a name for himself. He played at Toledo, which is why he wasn't getting this buzz all season since it's a smaller school. But he was allowed to shine at the senior bowl and is now one of the players improving their draft stock the most. Toldeo only has one player drafted in the first round in their organization's history, but Mitchell's chances of joining that list are starting to look legitimate.

Statistically, his junior season was even better than his senior season. In 2022, Mitchell recorded 25 passes defended, five interceptions, 41 tackles, and four TFLs. Those 25 passes defended led the nation and resulted in him being rewarded first-team All-MAC and third-team All-American. Even though his stats were worse in his senior season (2023), he still earned second-team All-American while recording 18 pass breakups, one interception, 41 tackles, and two tackles for loss. He's now one of the hottest names in the draft, so let's take a deeper look into the talented prospect.

Player Bio

Name: Quinyon Mitchell

Jersey: No. 27

Position: CB

School: Toledo

Class: Senior

Height: 6'0

Weight: 196lbs.

Games Watched:

NIU (2022), Liberty (2022), SJSU (2023), Eastern Michigan (2023), Miami OH (2023)

Player Breakdown

Man Coverage (13/15)

Although Mitchell is looked at as more of a fit in a zone-oriented scheme, he has continually shown he can guard the opposing teams' best receivers 1-on-1. He tends to play off-man, but his instincts and speed allow him to get away without pressing much. Mitchell is rumored to run a 4.3 40-yard dash and hit a top speed of 23.5 MPH. That will allow him to keep up with any receiver in the league, and won't get burnt often. The only downside to playing off is that short completions are easily attainable in this situation. But just look at this masterpiece of Quinyon getting targeted in man. Spoiler: it doesn't go well for opposing teams.

Zone Coverage (14/15)

The definition of a ball hawk, simple as that. Mitchell is always finding a way to get his hands on the ball whether it's an interception or a pass breakup. He is so explosive and quick to break on routes, it's like he already knows the route the receiver is running. His reaction time is what would make him such a great fit in a zone-schemed defense. He can bait quarterbacks into throwing to receivers that appear open, but as soon as it's thrown, Mitchell is there. He's an occasional risk taker, but is mostly disciplined and patient, waiting to strike at the right moment.

Instincts (9.5/10)

The reason Mitchell is so good in zone coverage is his insane instincts. He reacts to plays in a flash, and his twitch factor is off the charts. He can undercut routes at the highest level. Having that 4.3 speed also plays a huge part in this, because combining it with his first step/reaction time makes him a prospect cornerback needy teams can't pass up on.

Ball Skills (9/10)

Let's start with this crazy stat. Mitchell had FOUR interceptions in the FIRST HALF against Northern Illinois in 2022. Two of those four were returned for touchdowns as well. Unreal. He makes plays on the ball in both man and zone coverage. Quarterbacks try to test him deep in man coverage, but his closing speed prevents big plays from occurring. And in zone, if the quarterback keeps his eyes on one side of the field, he might as well throw the ball away because Mitchell will be all over that. He doesn't get fooled often, so quarterbacks need to be careful when targeting his side of the field.

Press/Physicality (7/10)

I mentioned before that Mitchell is more of an off-man corner when he is playing man. He doesn't tend to press much, but if he's drafted to a team that plays a decent amount of man, I don't see him having too many problems adjusting to that in the offseason. He is a 6'0, 200lb corner with long arms (75 6/8" wingspan). That sounds like a recipe for the prototypical player which teams look for. He also bench-pressed 225lbs for 21 reps. He's stronger than he looks and will turn some heads when he shows it on the field this year.

Long Speed (10/10)

Having 4.3 speed puts Mitchell in the group of the fastest players in the NFL. He rarely ever gets beat deep because of his long speed. Even if a defender gets a step or two on him, when the ball is coming down, Mitchell will be right there to contest it. Teams should be comfortable allowing Quinyon to be on an island, knowing getting beat over the top is unlikely.

Tackling/Run Support (6/10)

If there is an area to improve in his game, it would be tackling. He isn't very aggressive in the run game. He is inconsistent wrapping up and doesn't bring much force when tackling. If he's the nearest defender, he'll bring the opponent down, but it's nothing teams are afraid of. In fact, they might even look to exploit it by running outside runs to his side. He has the size and length to improve in this area, but it'll take some work in the offseason.

Athleticism (9/10)

The first thing that jumped out to me was Quinyon's athletic ability. His combine will show the world what he's really capable of, and everyone will know his name after. Not only is he one of the fastest and most explosive players in this class, but he has the instincts to go along with it. He knows right when to break on a route and is constantly making plays on the ball. Mitchell constantly puts his body on the line every game by diving for balls to break them up. Just look at him display his athleticism here.

Change of Direction (4.5/5)

There is a reason Quinyon fits best in a zone-scheme defense, and it's because of this feature right here. He is best when he's a "free roamer". He can lock down his portion of the field in zone due to his change of direction. As I've mentioned many times, his first twitch is so fast and reactive, that as soon as he sees the quarterback go to throw, he will leave his assignment and attempt to make a play on the ball. This guy simply has a knack for the ball, and he'll take advantage of QBs who are risk-takers.

Length (4/5)

Mitchell has a wingspan of 75 3/4". For being 6'0", that's slightly above average, but you would think it would be longer due to his style of play. He broke up 47 passes in his last two years. He is always breaking up plays due to his length and athleticism. He doesn't have Sauce Gardner length, but he is long enough to make a difference on the field and disrupt plays consistently.

Player Summary

Definition of a playmaker. The speedy 6'0" 200lb cornerback has insane ball skills and excels in both man and zone coverage. When he plays man coverage, it is usually off-man, leaving lots of separation for his opponent. This can lead to Mitchell being exposed on short routes. Even though he has quick instincts and awareness, he can't leave too much space and will have to press more than usual. I can see him getting taken in the mid-1st round to a cornerback-needy team that tends to play a lot of zone. That is most likely where he will thrive and live up to his full potential.

Rookie Projections: Starting Cornerback

Third Year Projection: Pro-Bowler

Final Grade (86/100): Late 1st Round Talent

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