CFB Player Profile: TE James Mitchell, Virginia Tech

TE James Mitchell, Virginia Tech

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HOMETOWN (HIGH SCHOOL): Big Stone Gap, VA (Union)
247 RATING: .8904
YEAR: Junior

Receiving: 21 catches, 361 yards (17.2 ypc), 2 touchdowns

Receiving: 21 catches, 361 yards (17.2 ypc), 2 touchdowns


James Mitchell Breakdown

Dalton Keene was a staple in the Virginia Tech offense for the last few years, but his heir leaves the Hokies in good, maybe even better, hands. James Mitchell returns to Blacksburg as one of the veteran leaders of the team, and his talent puts the Hokies in a great position to make a run in the ACC.

Wide receivers and running backs typically are interchanged when it comes to running and catching the football, but tight ends rarely (if ever) are included in that scheme. Virginia Tech breaks those norms with Mitchell, mostly near the goal line, and it gives opposing  defenses more to think about when defending him. He’s a natural catcher and know what to do when the ball’s in his hands. His contact balance keeps him upright, and the sooner he gets vertical the better. He doesn’t have breakaway speed, but it’s enough to produce a big gain. A focus on opening up his hips to make him less rigid as a runner will give him the ability to make sharper cuts and get vertical quicker.

As a blocker, there’s plenty of power that stems from his lower half and transitions into his hands. He can provide a could pop to his defender to snap their head back and give him position. Sustaining those blocks still needs work, but at times all he needs is that pop to move his man out of position. If they’re head-up on him, he’s most likely winning that matchup. If he has to reach or get to the second level, his power decreases, but a man straight in front of him is likely in trouble.

Virginia Tech has a unique weapon in James Mitchell, and it could give them an edge in a big game. He’s still a dangerous pass catcher (evident by his 17.2 yards per catch) and can dominate his man as a blocker. Loosening up as a runner and find a way to utilize his power in space will make him an even bigger threat, and elevates the Hokies offense to a new level.

Joe Broback
Joe Broback

Joe Broback is a college football contributor for Sports and Fitness Digest.

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