Chicago Sun-Times

Bears not the only team team tracking Ohio safety Mike Mitchell

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One of the players we first identified here as someone the Bears were interested in may have looked like an off-the-radar candidate at the time.

Ohio University safety Mike Mitchell is very much on the radar now.

He had a private workout for two teams at his high school in Fort Thomas, Ky., on Monday. He travels to Cincinnati today for a visit with the Bengals and from there he will go to Cleveland where he will meet with the Browns. Mitchell then heads to Oakland on Thursday and will wrap up the week in Green Bay on Friday. That's a busy week to add to the three official visits he's already had to this point.

``I didn't want to smell like old cologne, so I had to get two more suits to add to the rotation,'' joked Mitchell about his weekend shopping expedition.

Suddenly, Mitchell has gone from a possible late-round selection to a guy who could come off the board in the middle rounds. The Bears went in for a visit with him last month and are just one of the teams with genuine interest in him.

"I feel like God has blessed me with pretty good physical ability,'' he said. ``The thing that is intriguing to most people is I'm 6-0 1/2 and 220 pounds. They look at my body and I'm a lean guy, I'm strong, I'm fast, I run a 4.43 40 so I've got some pretty athletic tools to go along with size. When they see my measurables and then see my highlight tape--I think everyone's highlight tape is amazing--they see a mixture of size and speed and hitting. I think teams say, `This guy can play,' even though I went to a smaller school. My highlight tape is out now, my agent has done an amazing job and I think people are starting to see. That's what has happened to me.''

Here is a look at a Mitchell highlight tape that shows you plenty of him in action. More and more NFL teams are finding starters from MAC schools and Mitchell has game tape against bigger programs like Ohio State, Missouri, Northwestern, Virginia Tech and Rutgers.

``There have been a couple teams that have said they like me better at one safety position over the other,'' Mitchell said. ``But I've talked to eight or nine teams and the word I am hearing the most is `interchangeable.' I think that is the key phrase for me. My college coach allowed me to play free safety and strong safety and I even played nickel. I've done a lot of things and I think that makes me more valuable.''

Mitchell pulled a hamstring in his pro day March 12. Before he came up injured, he posted a 4.43 in the 40 to go with a broad jump of 10-3 and a vertical jump of 37 1/2 inches. He also put up 21 reps on the bench press at 225 pounds. He said the injury is about 85 percent so most of the interest he's been getting the last few weeks has been teams just wanting to visit with him, put him on the board and get to know him better. Mitchell could have been recommended to the Bears new secondary coach Jon Hoke by his brother. Brady Hoke was the coach at MAC rival Ball State before leaving for San Diego State this offseason. Because Mitchell did not get an invite to the combine, it's likely the Bears had him in for a pre-draft visit to give him a physical. Here is the list of players known to have made visits.

After his whirlwind week, he'll just be patiently awaiting the draft, something he wasn't sure would be a reality a little more than a month ago.

``Actually, one GM told me he wishes no one knew about me because they wanted to draft me late,'' Mitchell said. ``That kind of assured me I'm a guy that is going to be drafted and that was awesome to hear. But at the same time I was very humbled. It's a tricky business.

"I take a lot of pride in it and wanting to be drafted is obviously one of my goals. But more important than that is the goal to make a 53-man roster and contribute and work to be one of the best safeties to ever play the game.''


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7 Comments

More opportunity for debate on Angelo, Creigton and Kevin A., Da Coach ( No NBS....LOL) and others, I am dropping a link from Fox sports grading all teams drafts for the last six years, it list the Giants as the best, but the Bears grade out pretty good, it is one of the reason the teams has been competitive without having a top notch offense in the new millenium. I'll post it and check back in to see what guys think......
http://msn.foxsports.com/nfl/story/9453994/Draft-review:-How-every-team-ranks-from-2003-'08

As for Mitchell, I like this guys intangibles for sure and he could be on the board early in round 4 or with that compensation pick wehave at 99. I still like Delmas for the free safety spot over Johnson, but would be happy if we get someone who is ready to step in and play, this position to me is more important than WR because we have some guys in other positions who can catch the ball for Cutler (TE's and Forte), but we need to shore up the defense to get us higher in the rankings next season. a top ten defense and Cutler would have us going very deep into the playoffs next season....Go BEARS

His tape is just a sampling of his skill set but boy, he would look nice in a Bear-uni !!

He has speed, hits like a truck, solid form tackler and he shows great hands with some tough INT's he has colleceted.

To be able to play either safety position is just a bonus. Everyone knows how much Lovie covets interchangable safeties.


Go Bears !!

Chi Fox is about as bad as it gets and those are not even accurate Breakdowns. Not when the call Grossman a success and think he is still a Bear.

I mean they hired Jay Gayzer, what the heck were they thinking??

Anyway Mitchell looks to be a bit of a hybrid perhaps they are looking at him as a replacment for Ayanbadejo on special teams. I wonder if that GM who said they like him was Pioli, Pioli loves Safety/LB hybrids.

Bensonsucks I am not so sure he is an interchangable safety, he seems to be more of a Safety/LB. I do not think he could play FS/ he is a SS and would fit better in a 3-4. Nice player will probably end up on special teams.

Creighton...LOL I see your no fan of Fox sports, I agree the breakouts are not as good as the espn link, but it does speak well about the importance of bringinng in players that can fit your system and produce every year. But hey the kid Mitchell runs in the 4.4 range and for a safety prospect that's killer speed, he also seems to be a hitter exactly what we need to have the Pack and Vikes receivers looking for as they run patterns over the middle, at least they are looking for the type of player we need back there, this year is crucial we need to find someone to quarterback the defensive secondary, I'm hoping we get it done.

When you're grading the Bears and list Bobby Wade and Rex Grossman as examples of good draft picks you can basically use the rest of the article to wipe your butt.

The kid is athletic enough, he runs a 4.4 fourty so he definetly has the speed and his tackling ability is solid. He would make a fine FS in Lovie's defense and packs more then enough punch to play SS.

Mike Brown, Kevin Payne, Brandon McGowan, Craig Steltz, Daniel Manning, Chris Harris all were able to play both safety positions so I believe that Mitchell has the tools neccessary to follow suit...

Go Bears !!

Mike Mitchell has a very good work effort and a extremely vocus team player. Leads by example and ask only for eveyone to be dedicate for the good of the team. One whose believes in team and winning though out working your opponent. Excellent skills and one hard hitter. As a former Bobcat team mate I can say without doubt, no one will out work him. Best of success Mike, always continue to work extremely hard.He is a football player destined to be great.

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on April 14, 2009 11:51 AM.

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