Chicago Sun-Times

Bears keeping tabs on Ohio U. safety Michael Mitchell

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If general manager Jerry Angelo has done one thing well in the draft, it's find defensive backs in the later rounds.

Nathan Vasher, Chris Harris, Kevin Payne, Corey Graham and Todd Johnson were all selected in the fourth round and later.

The Bears have their eye on a safety prospect that might fit into the mid- to late-round range in Ohio University's Michael Mitchell. The team has scheduled a private workout with him, one of at least three he will have. Here is a video that has some highlights from his career.

Mitchell worked out at the school's pro day Thursday and was clocked in the 40-yard dash at 4.43 seconds before tweaking a hamstring on his second effort. The 6-foot, 221-pounder had a 10-foot, 3-inch broad jump, a 37 1/2-inch vertical jump and did 21 reps on the bench at 225 pounds.

It's likely the Bears, and other teams, will want to see Mitchell in positional drills. Mitchell suffered a knee injury late in his senior season that clubs may want to follow up on also. He's not the only MAC player the Bears want to take a look at. Remember, they have a visit set up with Eastern Michigan offensive tackle T.J. Lang. Stay tuned.

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some of those hits were WOW...

id like to see more tape on him...i dont want the bears reaching for a small school DB again...

justincredible, you do realize that one of the best QB's in the nfl - ben roethlisberger - played in the same conference that mitchell did? not to mention, QB is the most difficult position to scout for and play in all pro sports.

ohio univ. or ohio state univ., if you can play, you can play.

I agree.. no reason to knock small schools. Talent is talent. The Bears have totally mishandled Danieal Manning. They should have left him at FS. Hes been kicked all over the place. You cannot iron out the wrinkles if they keep giving you a new shirt to wear every 15 minutes, but Manning looks very natural at the nickel spot. Plus he can use his size and speed to create havoc and blitz from the slot. JA has a talent for finding decent defensive players late in the draft. His curse is that he cannot identify good offensive players to save his life. I think they know how important the O-Line is now. When the line fell apart, so did the entire offense. Dont be surprised to see two O-Line in the first four picks. Its a deep year for the O-Line. JA will grab some good DB's in the later rounds. Gotta get the O-Line rolling again...

measurables are measurables...

but i can say there is something to the thought process of what that talent plays against...

of course there are examples of players from smaller schools doing well in the NFL (chad pennington, randy moss, matt forte and Sweetness himself)

but playing against inferior competition can mask a players faults...CAN not always does...

its a crap shoot...

and about D Manning...everytime hes played FS for an extended amount of time...he's been boardline atrocious...basic concepts of the cover-2 defense allude him and you see him trying to use his speed to cover up his mental lapses.

you can blame that on coaching or not having one position but hester has went from CB, to PR/KR to WR and has made measurable progress

size of school isnt a huge indicator...BUT it is something you can consider when evaluating a player...and i did say id like to see more tape...

3 hits on a youtube clip about his workout regimen is cause for skepticism.

Justincredible, at lot of what you say is true but remember a lot of kids transfer due to issues with the coach or playing time, then when you add in the non-qualifiers who go the JC route they mostly end up in the MAC or schools like Deleware or Troy, and if they can play they usually become impact guys on your team that you get for a few years at a good bargain, the MAC has been solid for years now and Mid-west kids overlooked in HS wind up there a lot of times. Benefit to the BEARS are they know the Division are comfortable with the conditions and would not become primeadonna's once they make it big, case in point Big Ben, two Super bowls and still a regular Mid-western guy....I say let's comb our back yard and make certain we get the gems that may be hidden there.....

By John Clayton
The Minnesota Vikings' persistent pursuit of Denver Broncos cornerback Karl Paymah was successful. He agreed to a one-year, $1.55 million deal, according to a source.

What do you guys think of this fella? I've never heard of him, nor seen him, so I can't make an assessment. Do you guys think he'll pose a challenge or even a threat to us?

Draft him, Jerry! Draft all the Ohio State Buckeyes you can, too. Ohio is the hotbed of football in America! Look at the history. Just stay away from that Hell-hole up north, Michigan!

Hey Bears, Jay Cutler just put his house in Denver up for sale!!..He wants out, Bad!!.....Do all you can to bring him here!!!!...PLEASE, do not miss out on another chance for a franchise QB!!!.....#18 SUCKS!!!!

As they always can never have too much talent or competition in the NFL. This kid looks like he can bring some serious lumber when he delivers a hit, and if the video was accurate in that he runs a 4.48 at 6'1" and 215 lbs., that's one heck of an athlete. If he has the same kind of potential at FS that Payne has at SS, we would have a very physical secondary, which we will need to slow down the Pack and Vikes over the next few years.

Either way, if we do not scout every possible option at FS, we are kidding ourselves. We need help at lots of positions, and safety is just one of them. We need to know who would be our graded guys at every spot we pick, and make sure the best player on our list is the guy we take. At worst, he can't be any worse than Cameron Worrell, Todd Johnson, Bobby Gray, Adam Archuleta, Brandon McGowan (talented but injury-prone) and the other stiffs we have trotted out there at the safety spots during my time as a Bears fan. Speed, range, and can hit....Those guys work on special teams too, and he is big enough to be a factor in every phase of the coverage teams...
Jerry does have a knack for finding decent DBs late, and since he has an injury history, that should put him squarely in JA's crosshairs....

You got to like Ohio University safety Michael Mitchell's measurables, but the knee injury, and the fact he tweaked a hammy running a drill, would make me stay away from him, Chicago doesn't need another injury prone safety. If Chicago is gonna go with a second day safety, I still say they should go with Notre Dame's David Bruton, maybe in the fourth round. Bruton has the size to speed ratio you like to see in a safety, 6-2 210lbs with a 4.5 40, is a ballhawk, and is a very physical player, he'd be the safety I'd go with on the second day, just an opinion.

Now Eastern Michigan's T.J Lang is a player I like, especially at guard, Im happy to see the Bears are gonna bring him in for an interview. Add another guard to the long list of guards the Bears have been looking at this off-season. According to's Adam Caplan, the Bears are also gonna bring in Penn.St guard Rich Ohrnberger for an interview. Ohrnberger is a little undersized at 6-2 297lbs, but was first team all-conference in the Big-10. Ohrnberger was known as one of the Big-10's most physical linemen, who is a strong mauler type with a nasty attitude. The scouting report on Ohrnberger say's "has good enough foot quickness to angle his tackle inside to create a hole to reach linebackers at the second level." This is probably why the Bears have interest, they like their guards to have a little mobility, and have the ability to seal off linebackers. He's worth a look being good at run-blocking in a traditionally physical run conference like the Big-10 GO BEARS!!


all im saying is that theres more of a risk involved with small school players...thats not to say theres ALWAYS a risk...the bust probability is raised...

and i think thats a fair assessment...

about this player in other posters have noted...his injury history alarms me...we seem to collect players, especially on defense, who have problems staying on the field...going back to college and beyond...sometimes that gamble works...sometimes it does not...

i just need to see more film on him b4 i say go get much as his physicality is intriguing im more interested in his mental capacity to learn and retain simple defensive concepts...fundamentals...something the defense has sorely lacked the past 2 seasons...

can he wrap up and tackle properly? can he read a qb's eyes? can he determine what hes supposed to do in specific down, distance and game clock situations?

thats what we need more than the big hit....

the big hit in the NFL is the like the tyrus thomas blocked shot that goes 5 rows deep into the seats...

sure its great to watch...we oh and we ahh...but thats not good defense...its just gave them the ball football the big hit does no good if its a 20 yrd gain becuase you werent where you were supposed to be...

Draft pass rusher #1, OT #2, WR #3, safety #4, OL #5, WR #6, DL #7. Get a veteran QB via trade or free agency. Add another WR via free agency, also. Wait until next year to draft our franchise QB! Pray for good health all year long! Playoff bound! GO BEARS!

I would rather have Bruton as well, even with my intense dislike for all things Notre Dame....I am wondering whether he will make it to the 4th round, due to the lack of elite athletes in the secondary in this year's draft. If I remember correctly, Bruton was the fastest DB at the Combine, and running a 4.5 range 40 time does not bode well when compared to the blazing 40 times the WRs ran this year.

I think his game tape says 4th round, but his physical skills may push him into the third round....Maybe if we get the comp pick in the 3rd for Berrian, we can look at him there?

The problem with the way Jerry approaches the draft is that he targets specific players when he builds his plan. He figures out who he wants, and then tries to get a sense of when someone else might take them. Hester, Manning, and Forte were all picked ahead of where many thought they would go, all because Jerry didn't want to take the chance that someone else would grab them. I don't know if he feels like he got burned the year Tommie and Tank went 1-2 for us, where it was not the best move to draft back to back DTs, and so he shifted his strategy, or if he really targeted Tank and Tommie from the get-go.

I wouldn't be surprised to see more than 1 safety drafted this year, especially considering the lack of depth at the position with McGowan and Steltz being the only backups, and McGowan hasn't been healthy for years. Bullocks and a rookie or two will probably battle for the FS starting spot, and Steltz will be a special teamer, and maybe the 3rd safety when the Bears go to their run package vs. 3 TEs when Vasher comes out...

Hey Bears, Jay Cutler just put his house in Denver up for sale!!..He wants out, Bad!!.....Too bad we already have the best QB in the league!!!!...PLEASE, don't downgrade the QB position by looking at him!!!.....#18 RULES!!!

A lot of fairly good comments but Hadji you are uninformed there are no 1st round pass rushers making it to 18 and offensive line is the primary spot this year, Kevin some nice points but we already have a undersized guard why go for two when we are in the division with they Williams wall? But your point about drafting two offensive linemen back to back is a good one but if a Maclin, Bey or Hicks is there it might be worth the gamble. I am not impressed with Steltz he looked lost and the Houston game was pathetic, Bullocks middle name seems to be toast. If they can manage to get another offensive lineman in FA then they should go for the best WR on the board then best DB on the board and in the third start looking for some offensive linemen.

Hey anounymous, I feel you about doing the work and not getting burned a lot of these MAC guys we look at are 3-5th round players who have been thoroughly evaluated for team need, no need to reach on these guys too soon, all teams in the league have program they follow looking for hidden gems to fit their style of play, I think
the MAC provides us that opportunity, and a lot of the players are local guys who grew up watching teams like the BEARS, some of our best players were guys nobody wanted to look at picked or as free agents, tom Waddle, richard Dent, Revie Sorey, roland Harper, Dennis McKinnon to name a few recent hits Jerry Azumah, and now Graham....I like your reasoning but this is an opportunity for the BEARS to get better, all the good players are not at Ohio St, Michigan, Miami, etc...that's my point

Ignore the 40 times at the combine people. There was something wrong with it this year. Follow the Pro Day reports if you want to see what these guys can do. Look at Wells he ran in the 4.3's at his Pro Day and his Combine time was bad. In fact all the RB's, DB's and and alot of the defensive players put up bad times, but at there Pro Days there are killing it. Mike Johnson is another guy who scored at his Pro Day.

NBS the Bears are not going after Cutler he has too much talent, the Lions or the Browns are going to trade for him.

Unless they are laying the groundwork to pikcup a free agent rookie why are they bringing him in for a workout?

First, Mitchell is a Strong Safety. I'm fairly certain Chicago does not need another Strong Safety.

Second, I just finished my value board and have 373 players rated on it. Mitchell doesn't even crack that. OK, I'm no Mel Kiper Jr. but look around ... does anyone have this guy even being drafted? NFL Draft Scout has him as the 53rd best SS on the board. That's not a "late round pick"; that's a rookie free agent AT BEST.

Third, throw in the injury history and this guy shouldn't be working out for anyone much less Chicago using their time to evaluate him. There are not a lot of good free safeties in this draft but there are some to be had (including my favorite William Moore from Mizzou) so why waste your time with some guy who shouldn't even be drafted???

michael mitchell highlight tape exspecated to be on you tube tonight

Mike Mitchell stock is raising fast the secret is out. Ravens thought they had this kid wrapped up.Who let the cat outta the bag? Word THE Lions.

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on March 14, 2009 3:15 PM.

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