Lions draft prospect of the day: Adonai Mitchell, WR, Texas

USA Today

Today’s Lions Draft Prospect of the Day is one of the more prominent candidates to be Detroit’s first-round pick in the 2024 NFL draft

The focus for these potential Lions prospects is on players who should hold some appeal for Detroit in the draft. Not all of them will be prominent names or high draft picks, though today’s is certainly a name most fans should be aware of already. 

Adonai “AD” Mitchell, WR, Texas

Height: 6-foot-2

Weight: 205 pounds (measured at NFL Scouting Combine)

Mitchell began his college career at Georgia, where he started right away for the Bulldogs’ national championship team in 2021. After a 2022 campaign where he caught just nine passes in six games and suffered an ankle injury that sidelined him for half the season, Mitchell transferred to Texas, where he played his high school ball in the Houston area.

His one year for the Longhorns was a breakout season, with Mitchell catching 55 passes and scoring 11 touchdowns for Texas on the way to a CFP berth. Only 21 years old, Mitchell declared for the draft after the season.

What I like

  • Elite speed and impressive length as an outside receiver
  • Tested in the top one percent of all wide receivers in RAS over the last 37 years
  • Changes speeds and footwork in his releases well to create extra separation
  • Spent time working in a pro-style, timing-based offense in college
  • Good at tracking and adjusting to the ball in the air
  • Capable of the spectacular catch on a poorly thrown ball
  • Impressive power and strength after the catch
  • Sure-handed in his one year at Texas; just one drop in over 100 targets
  • Played very well when facing strong secondaries (Alabama, TCU)

What worries me going into the NFL

  • Under 100 receptions in three years of college football
  • Really downshifts to change direction and make breaks in routes
  • Doesn’t feel the holes in zone coverage consistently
  • Has Type 1 diabetes, which presents health management challenges
  • Surprisingly weak in contested catch situations
  • Inconsistent blocking effort and technique
  • Overall intensity and effort levels are all over the map
  • Lots of body-catching and stopping of momentum to secure the catch all the way in

Best game I watched: Kansas State

Worst game I watched: Oklahoma

Overall

Mitchell is a world-class athlete who has occasionally played football very well. He’s capable of being in the class of Justin Jefferson as a prolific big target with outstanding speed on the outside. But he rarely put that all together in his three years of college. Mitchell’s game-to-game — and even drive-to-drive — effort and engagement are rightly questioned, which could be a function of his medical condition. Risky prospect with a very high ceiling but also some technical drawbacks that would require ironing out to fit well into Ben Johnson’s offense in Detroit.

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