Playing cornerback brings the old dance adage to mind. Ginger Rogers was more impressive than Fred Astaire, because she did everything he did, but backwards, and in heels. As the evolution of passing concepts and wide receiver skill sets continues, NFL defenses will need to have depth across the board of corners who can match up against elite athletes and play multiple zone concepts, while moving backward. Is Northwestern CB Cameron Mitchell that player?
If all goes well, Mitchell will hear his name called during the NFL draft. Below is everything you need to know about Mitchell’s scouting report.
Cameron Mitchell NFL Draft Profile
- Position: Cornerback
- School: Northwestern
- Year: Redshirt Junior
Mitchell ended up being a three-star prospect in high school when he verbally committed to Northwestern on March 13, 2018. According to 247 Sports, he was the 23rd-ranked player in Illinois. All four years in high school, he was a varsity letter winner and a 2x team captain.
Mitchell’s high school accomplishments include earning Southwest Suburban All-Conference honors as a junior and senior and being named to the 83rd News-Gazette All-State Team and All-Area Team as a senior. He was also an honor roll student.
Mitchell only appeared in four games during his first year at Northwestern, registering one tackle. He appeared in eight of nine games in his second season and saved his best performances for the final two games of the year.
In the Big Ten Championship against Ohio State, Mitchell recorded his first career interception and a sack. In the following game — the Citrus Bowl against Auburn — he had a career-high six tackles and two pass breakups.
His redshirt second-year, Mitchell was named All-Big Ten honorable mention by the coaches. He started all 12 games and finished second on the team with five passes defensed.
In Mitchell’s final year as a redshirt junior, he recorded a career-best 52 total tackles and 2.5 tackles for loss on the season. He led Northwestern with a career-best nine pass breakups on his way to a second consecutive Big Ten honorable mention.
Cameron Mitchell Scouting Report
Strengths: Talented cornerback with excellent size. Quick flipping his hips in transition, displays good footwork in reverse, and works to get his head back around to locate the pass in the air. Displays a sense of timing, tracks the ball, and has a burst to the action. Instinctive, shows good recognition, and gives effort against the run. Works very hard and stays with coverage assignments.
Weaknesses: Must be more consistent with his footwork. Struggles staying with receivers out of routes.
Overall: Mitchell is an instinctive cornerback who can play in a zone system or in man coverage. He offers possibilities as a dime back and special-teams player.
Cameron Mitchell Combine Measurements and Results
The NFL Scouting Combine gives us a great opportunity to see how players stack up in various testing environments. Luckily, PFN has full databases of both NFL Combine measurements and NFL Combine results. Below is everything you need to know from Mitchell’s Combine performance.
- Height: 5106
- Weight: 191
- Arm: 31 ⅜”
- Hand: 9 ¾”
- Bench Press: 15
- 40-Yard Dash: 4.47
Cameron Mitchell Current Draft Projection
According to Tony Pauline’s Big Board, Mitchell is projected to be a fringe-Round 6 selection, with a 3.32 grade. He is Pauline’s 28th-ranked cornerback and 234th-ranked prospect overall.
Being ranked that low could make it an uphill climb for Mitchell to get drafted during the seven rounds. However, defensive back is one of the most drafted positions each and every year. The last four NFL drafts have seen a minimum of 50 DBs drafted, the vast majority of which being cornerbacks.
According to his Relative Athletic Score, Mitchell gets dinged by his height, which is considered poor for his position. Everything else about his athletic testing, however, was mostly average. His 4.47 40-yard dash was average, but his 20-yard split was considered elite.
MORE: 2023 NFL Draft Big Board
Teams could have concerns about Mitchell’s ability to maintain speed on deep routes, given his peaking in speed midway through. Additionally, his three-cone drill was average, which may raise red flags about what teams think about his ability to efficiently change direction on technically run routes.
In the PFN Mock Draft Simulator run-through that I did, Mitchell did, in fact, get drafted. Similar to where Tony has him projected, Mitchell was taken at pick 192 by the New England Patriots in Round 6.
The draft’s later rounds provide teams an opportunity to find players who can contribute on special teams while showing some upside in the ability to develop into quality depth. The Patriots are pioneers in the defensive secondary under Bill Belichick, plus they have a need at the position.
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