FAU Football: Tight end John Mitchell and linebacker Akileis Leroy enter the 2022 NFL Draft

Mitchell and Leroy became the eighth and ninth players to declare for the draft.


Eston Parker III

John Mitchell (top) spent six years while Akileis Leroy (bottom) had five years with FAU.

Richard Pereira, Business Manager

Tight end John Mitchell and linebacker Akileis Leroy have both declared for the 2022 NFL Draft.

Mitchell made his decision on Jan. 5 marking the end of a six-year collegiate career that saw him experience highs and lows with the team for four seasons.

A talented player who switched from wide receiver to tight end for the 2021 season, Mitchell recorded four touchdowns on 19 receptions. After tearing his ACL in 2020, he was a nominee for the Mayo Clinic Comeback Player of the Year award in 2021.

His best season came in 2019, when he caught a career-high 38 passes for five touchdowns and played a key role in FAU’s offense, with the Owls winning the Conference USA Championship and the Boca Raton Bowl. He ends his career with 69 catches and 10 touchdowns in 45 games.

Leroy announced his intentions for the draft on Jan. 19 after playing four seasons in five years with the Owls.

Standing out as one of the best defenders on the team, Leroy made 65 tackles (31 solo) in the 2021 campaign after he was declared ineligible in 2020.

Like Mitchell, Leroy had his career year in 2019. He won second team All-C-USA honors as he recorded 101 tackles (55 solo), made 7.5 sacks for 53 yards, forced five fumbles, caught three interceptions, and helped the team in a successful year with the aforementioned championships. 

With their announcements, Mitchell and Leroy become the eighth and ninth players from FAU to enter the draft. They join linebacker Caliph Brice, running back James Charles, cornerbacks Zyon Gilbert and Korel Smith, and wide receivers Brandon Robinson, TJ Chase, and Willie Wright.

The last FAU player to be drafted was tight end Harrison Bryant when the Cleveland Browns selected him back in 2020. The 2022 NFL Draft will begin on April 28 and end on April 30. It will be broadcast on ESPN from Las Vegas, Nev. 

Richard Pereira is the Business Manager for the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected] or tweet him @Rich26Pereira.