The Detroit Lions made significant headway in getting their draft picks signed on Thursday, capped by fifth-round pick James Mitchell.
The Detroit Lions made progress in signing their 2022 draft picks on Thursday, getting deals done with safety Kerby Joseph and wide receiver Jameson Williams. They made it three on the day, with Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press reporting the Lions also signed fifth-round pick tight end James Mitchell.
Per Birkett and Over The Cap, Mitchell, the No. 177 pick in last month’s draft, would get a slotted deal worth $3.9 million over four years with a $285,548 signing bonus.
Mitchell may have been drafted a couple rounds earlier if not for a torn ACL early in his final season at Virginia Tech. The injury occurring as early as it did had him expecting to be fully cleared by June when he spoke to local media after the draft.
James Mitchell brings loads of potential to Lions tight end depth chart
In 2020, Mitchell finished sixth in the ACC in yards per catch (16.7). In 2019, he averaged an even better 17.2 yards per catch. Over those two campaigns, he mixed in a total of five rushing touchdowns to go with his six total receiving scores. For his career as a Hokie, over three seasons, he had 52 catches for 838 yards and seven touchdowns.
The Lions now have deals with five of their eight draft picks. Second-rounder Josh Paschal and sixth-rounders Malcolm Rodriguez and James Houston are unsigned as of this writing, with rookie minicamp starting on Friday.
If he’s healthy, Mitchell will have the inside track to be the Lions’ No. 2 tight end behind T.J. Hockenson. Garrett Griffin, Brock Wright, Shane Zylstra and undrafted free agents Derrick Deese Jr. and Nolan Givan are other names in the mix at tight end for Detroit, as offseason work gets going with rookie minicamp this weekend and with 90 players eventually on the roster for full OTAs later this month.