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Apr 22, 2024 12:30 pm

Quinyon Mitchell confident as top CB in 2024 NFL Draft

Quinyon Mitchell

Toledo cornerback Quinyon Mitchell overcame every doubt with emphatic answers on his path to the 2024 NFL Draft.

Critics and doubters questioned almost every area of Mitchell’s game the past 12 months but he arrives on the doorstep of the 2024 draft as the top-ranked cornerback in this class by leaving no room for naysayers along the way.

Mitchell dominated in the MAC with six interceptions and 45 pass breakups the past two seasons with the Rockets. Some wondered if he could have the same impact against Power 5 prospects. Senior Bowl director Jim Nagy, who had other top-ranked draft prospects at the position turn down invitations to the annual pre-draft showcase in Mobile, was an early supporter of Mitchell and provided the stage Mitchell needed in January.

Mitchell said he went to the Senior Bowl to compete and with a point to prove.

“That I can hang with the big dawgs,” Mitchell said.

He rapidly rose from the “best non-Power 5 prospect” in the draft to perhaps the top defensive player in the draft. Mitchell is one of 13 prospects invited to sit in the draft green room in Detroit on Thursday.

Mitchell turned heads all week at the Senior Bowl and turned his attention to preparing for the 2024 NFL Scouting Combine. He knew his on-field production and lockdown skills displayed at the Senior Bowl would earn high marks. If he could break 4.35 in the 40-yard dash, Mitchell was sure his case for top billing among cornerbacks would be closed.

He ran 4.33.

But to Mitchell, his wheels were never a question mark.

At 193 pounds he ran the 40 in 4.39 seconds at a school timing day last spring. Mitchell said he has been timed even faster since and has a track background.

“I didn’t come here to be mediocre. I came here to break records,” he said before running the 40 at Lucas Oil Stadium.

Most major publications place Mitchell in the top 20 picks before the draft, with a few projecting him in the top 10 to the Las Vegas Raiders or Atlanta Falcons.

Those teams would likely need to be convinced Mitchell has everything it takes to be a No. 1 cornerback in the NFL.

Mitchell was GPS chip-timed at the same top speed as Miami Dolphins All-Pro Tyreek Hill — 23 miles per hour. NFL Next Gen Stats uses the same technology and tracked only three scoring plays over 22 mph in the 2023 regular season: Seahawks wide receiver DK Metcalf (22.23, Week 13), Bengals running back Chase Brown (22.05 mph, Week 14) and Hill (22.01 mph, Week 5).

Already strong with long arms, the 6-foot frame of a No. 1 cornerback in the NFL with physical and competitive gold stars on his scouting report, Toledo coaches praised Mitchell most for his professional approach to football. He applies the attention to detail expected from other coaches — not necessarily 20-something players outside of the Power 5.

Mitchell said he considers himself a student of the game, a film addict who likes to tell opponents what’s coming based on down and distance before running the route for them. His dedication and desire to be the best are evident in the results. He studies and charts the technique and winning traits of Trent McDuffie (Chiefs) and the Eagles’ Darius Slay to make sure he has more answers to doubters at the next level.

“The ball will get you paid,” Mitchell said. “At the Senior Bowl, I learned every ball that’s thrown in the air is worth $2.5 million. I’m just trying to get that money.”

–Field Level Media

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