Konata Mumpfield poses a problem as a pass catcher for Pittsburgh in the 2023 NFL Draft

With the loss of Jordan Addison, Konata Mumpfield has the potential to lead the Pitt WR room and emerge in the 2023 NFL Draft class.

Get familiar with the name Konata Mumpfield. You’re about to hear it a lot this coming college football season. The former Akron wide receiver is set to become the biggest part of the Pittsburgh Panthers’ offense following multiple departures this offseason. The redshirt-sophomore pass catcher could establish himself as a key part of an exciting 2023 NFL Draft receiving class.

Konata Mumpfield set to emerge as the leader of a rebuilt Pitt offense

Coming off the back of its most successful season in almost half a century, the Pitt program has undergone substantial upheaval this offseason. Of course, quarterback Kenny Pickett departed for the NFL, the only quarterback taken in the first two rounds of the 2022 NFL Draft. A natural by-product of the college system, programs have to deal with this situation frequently. Pitt is not alone in this regard.

In addition to Pickett and several other NFL departures, there have been several high-profile coaching losses to absorb since the Panthers emerged as the kings of the ACC. Offensive coordinator Mark Whipple headed to Nebraska. Highly regarded wide receiver coach Brennan Marion is attempting to finally bring Texas “back” to national relevance. Again, coaches moving onward and upward has always been an element of college football.

The transfer portal, however, has become the most challenging element of change for programs to adapt to. Pitt was expecting to field potentially the most dangerous wide receiver in the nation, Jordan Addison. With 1,593 yards at 15.9 per catch and 17 touchdowns, the Pitt pass catcher is the second-most productive pass catcher returning to college football this fall.

However, he won’t be returning to Pitt. Entering the transfer portal officially this last week, Addison is set to follow the NIL trail to USC. You can’t fault him. Football success is so fleeting — you’ve got to grab the gold where you can. Thankfully for Pitt, the transfer portal has provided its own star to succeed Addison in the form of redshirt-sophomore wide receiver Mumpfield.

From under-recruited to ready to rock the 2023 NFL Draft class

Mumpfield arrived in Pitt expecting to play alongside Addison in the Pitt offense. Now, he’s set to replace the standout pass catcher as the leading receiver for the Panthers this fall. The former Akron WR was one of the jewels in the transfer portal after an exciting first season on the field. However, his journey toward starring on Saturdays hasn’t always been spent in the spotlight.

A native of Hoschton, Georgia, Mumpfield played high school ball at Dacula High School. While boasting a stellar football program, the Falcons don’t have a particularly impressive record of producing NFL talent. Maybe that contributed to Mumpfield’s under-the-radar recruiting process. The Georgia pass catcher was a three-star prospect by 247 Sports, ranked as the 2,672nd player nationally and 243rd player in Georgia.

However, there was no doubting he could play. Mumpfield played both sides of the ball for Dacula. Having helped lead the school to a state playoff appearance as a junior, he elevated his game on both sides of the ball as a senior. Lining up at WR, he snagged 43 receptions for 820 yards with 13 touchdowns. Flipping to defense, he put his ball skills to work with 3 interceptions. A special-teams ace, he also contributed 3 punt return touchdowns.

Despite earning All-County and All-Region 8-6A honors, Mumpfield’s only FBS came from Akron. He also received FCS offers from Alabama State, Mercer, and Savannah State. But the only opportunity to play at the highest level came from the Zips. Even then, Mumpfield didn’t see the field during what would be his freshman campaign in 2020.

Mumpfield showcases his pass-catching skill set for all to see

Trying to assert yourself in the national consciousness is hard when you’re at a smaller school. It’s even more difficult when that school has been a college football whipping boy for the last three seasons. However, Mumpfield had multiple early opportunities to showcase his skill set against stellar opposition in the 2021 college football season.

The impactful WR secured 3 receptions for 19 yards in the season opener against Auburn. Against Ohio State, he tallied 7 receptions for 67 yards and a score in the “Horseshoe.” The touchdown showcased some of his exceptional movement ability for a 6’1″ receiver, putting the defense on ice with his change of direction in the backfield before leaking out for a simple short score.

Big-time production would follow. In MAC competition, Mumpfield was magnificent. He tallied three 100+yard games, starting with 106 yards at 17.7 yards per catch and 2 touchdowns against Bowling Green. Miami (OH) would be mauled to the tune of 109 yards. Western Michigan wilted as Mumpfield tallied a career-high 122 yards with 2 touchdowns. He ended the year with 751 yards, 8 touchdowns, and Freshman All-American honors.

Mumpfield also ended the year in the transfer portal. Unlike his original recruitment, the Akron WR was inundated with college offers. They came from across the nation and the major college football conferences. “When I made the decision to enter the transfer portal, I had no idea that I would receive this type of interest,” he told Pittsburgh Sports Now.

Mumpfield as a potential 2023 NFL Draft prospect

Mumpfield could have had no idea that he’d emerge as the “alpha” receiver for the Panthers this season. Arriving in Pittsburgh expecting to play alongside Addison, he’s now likely the man that steps up to replace him. Thankfully, Mumpfield has the skill set to dominate ACC defenses this season as he establishes himself as a 2023 NFL Draft prospect.

At 6’1″ and 180 pounds, Mumpfield has good size for the position. Meanwhile, his height is weaponized by what appears to be excellent functional length. He’s adept at plucking the ball out of the air with a natural pass-catching technique. There are also multiple one-handed grabs on his résumé where he showcases impressive hands. His ball-tracking and catching skills are as effective as you’d expect from a former high school WR/DB.

Meanwhile, he’s demonstrated technical and athletic excellence as a route runner. Mumpfield uses a combination of head fakes, body control, fluid hips, and change-of-direction ability to shake defensive players out of their skin. He can attack leverage. He can be physical. Furthermore, the Pitt WR has demonstrated quick and light feet.

Pitt fans who witnessed the “Blue and Gold” spring game have to be excited. Mumpfield was used in a multitude of ways, including on kickoff return. On the first play of the game, he displayed his essential attributes on a huge 55-yard gain where he created 4 yards of separation at the catch point. Mumpfield has the skill set to be special as the leading receiver in this Pitt offense, and he has the capacity to be special in this 2023 NFL Draft class.

Oliver Hodgkinson is an NFL Draft and College Football Analyst for Pro Football Network. Check out the rest of his work here, and you can find him on Twitter: @ojhodgkinson