NFL Draft Analysis: Tight end John Mitchell has the balanced skillset needed to make an NFL roster

Mitchell makes the most of his chances to show he is capable of catching the attention of NFL teams.


Eston Parker III

University Press stock photo of tight end John Mitchell with the FAU football team at the season-opener against the University of Florida on Sept. 4, 2021.

Richard Pereira, Business Manager

With the 2022 NFL Draft set to begin on Thursday, April 28, the University Press will evaluate the FAU football players eligible for the upcoming event. Today, we take a look at tight end John Mitchell.

Mitchell has seen a rollercoaster of what was a six-year career with the Owls. He leaves FAU with his head held high following last season, catching 19 passes for 258 receiving yards and four touchdowns. In four seasons, his career totals are 45 games played, 69 receptions, and 10 touchdowns.

Mitchell was also in the running for the Mayo Clinic Comeback Player of the Year Award in 2021, missing the season prior due to injury.

At FAU’s Pro Day, Mitchell ran a 40-yard dash in 4.59 seconds, ranking second over tight ends who participated at the NFL Draft Combine. He also jumped for a 36.5-inch vertical, putting him at the top among tight ends at the combine, and a broad jump of 10-foot-two-inches, which positions him as runner-up against other tight ends in the combine.

Even though his resume with the Owls wouldn’t be as ideal as he would like, Mitchell makes the most of his chances to show he is capable of catching the attention of NFL teams, with or without being selected in the draft.

Here are the strengths and weaknesses of Mitchell and what he can bring to an NFL roster.


Standing at six-foot-four-inches and 228 pounds, Mitchell is a physical and mobile player that is capable of joining the offensive line to protect the quarterback from opposing defenders while getting to open spaces for potential catches.

Mitchell is opportunistic when he runs to his spots on the field, rarely failing to make catches as his offensive consistency is a sight to behold. For example, his 2019 season saw him get 38 receptions for 488 yards and five touchdowns as he played a key role in helping FAU win both the C-USA Championship and the Boca Raton Bowl.

What makes Mitchell even more appealing is his professionalism on and off the field. He is a player who can help keep the team together with his presence in the locker room and set an example for everyone to follow, which makes the goal of maximizing their potential easier.


As aforementioned, Mitchell’s FAU career wasn’t perfect. He has a history of sustaining injuries that kept him on the sidelines, most notably a torn ACL before the 2020 season.

Following the injury, Mitchell switched his position from wide receiver to tight end. This indicates that his speed won’t return to what it once was, despite his solid mobility when running routes.

While this decline in speed may seem minor to Mitchell as a tight end, NFL coaches won’t ignore his injury history and will have a concern about whether he can get past faster-opposing defenses should they play him at wide receiver on occasion.

Best Fit

If there’s a team that Mitchell fits very well in, it would be the New England Patriots. He blends the mold of a class act and a coachable player that head coach Bill Belichick would enjoy having on his roster.

This also provides another pair of hands that Patriots quarterback Mac Jones can throw to, having confidence that Mitchell will catch those passes consistently. New England ranked 14th out of 32 teams in receiving yards per game and 17th in total receptions last season, showing where Mitchell can immediately help the team in.

While it shouldn’t be expected for Mitchell to be selected in the draft, he is more than deserving of a contract on a practice squad. By giving him that chance, he won’t take the opportunity for granted.

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