Being a wide receiver in a historically run-orientated offense isn’t normally conducive to a smooth transition to the NFL. Nothing about Mississippi State wide receiver Osirus Mitchell’s journey to the 2021 NFL Draft has been smooth. However, he could still provide a late-round option for a team in the NFL’s annual selection event.
Osirus Mitchell NFL Draft Player Profile
- Position: Wide Receiver
- School: Mississippi State
- Current Year: Redshirt Senior
- Height: 6’3 1/2″
- Weight: 210 pounds
Tony Pauline’s Osirus Mitchell Scouting Report
Positives: Large, game-controlling receiver with reliable hands. Consistently comes back to the ball to make himself an available target, exposes himself to the big hit in order to come away with the reception, and makes the difficult catch in a crowd. Uses his hands to separate from defenders, snatches the ball out of the air, and quickly turns upfield after the catch. Adjusts to the errant throw, reaches back for the pass, and displays strong hands.
Negatives: Displays limited play speed and quickness. Cannot run to the long throw.
Analysis: Mitchell is a big-bodied possession receiver who does the little things well, but will struggle to separate at the next level. His reliability catching the ball and potential as a red zone threat could help him grab a roster spot as a fifth receiver.
Osirus Mitchell Player Profile
Mitchell was a late-bloomer as far as football was concerned. A vertically-gifted kid, Osirus was an accomplished basketball player at Booker High School, and he entertained the idea of pursuing a collegiate career on the court. Although he played football early on, his rise to prominence as a pass catcher didn’t occur until his senior year.
A breakout senior season, in fact, gave him the realization of the potential to play football in college. Using his height and ability after the catch as competitive advantages, Mitchell racked up 900 receiving yards and 17 touchdowns. His big-play ability would be demonstrated by an impressive 21.7 yards per catch. Furthermore, his senior performance earned him a three-star recruiting rating while being ranked as the 160th player in Florida.
However, on national signing day, he only had one college offer. Due to issues with his grades, Mitchell was academically ineligible for Division I football. Faced with accepting the one offer or getting his head down and addressing his grades, the wide receiver got to work. By May 2016, his options had significantly improved, and he chose to head to Mississippi State over Minnesota.
It was an easy decision, as he explained to me in an interview earlier this year.
“Man, Mississippi State. That name to me was just how I was brought up. Hardworking, humble, hard-nosed, and very family orientated. The first day on campus they just embrace you like you’ve been there your whole life. It’s just one big family. I knew I was going to be far from home, so I wanted to be with a team that felt like it was a home away from home.”
Mitchell’s college football career at Mississippi State
Being a late bloomer at Booker, it came as no surprise that Mitchell redshirted his freshman season in 2016. Although he saw the field in 2017, he only had 5 receptions for 51 yards with no touchdowns. In fact, Mitchell waited two years before securing his first college touchdown, but after the first one came against Stephen F. Austin, he quickly followed it up with a second in the same game.
That success was the catalyst to a redshirt sophomore season where Mitchell led Mississippi State in receptions. The following season he would lead the team in receiving yards and touchdowns. However, the team-leading 430 yards and 6 touchdowns that came on a run-first offense still meant that Mitchell wasn’t highly talked about as an NFL Draft wide receiver prospect. Friends and family implored him to seek a transfer away from the program, but he held firm.
The decision to remain in Starkville appeared to be vindicated early in the 2020 season. With the hire of Mike Leach, the Bulldogs adopted the Air Raid offense with their senior wide receiver primed to be the spearhead.
Mitchell and Mississippi State shocked the nation in the season opener against the defending national champions. In a career day, he amassed an incredible 183 yards and 2 touchdowns. With the eyes of the college world on the Bulldogs, Mitchell was ready to skyrocket his NFL Draft stock.
Unfortunately for the pass catcher, the success of the system in the SEC was short-lived. Although he secured a career-high in receiving yards, his yards per catch were the lowest since his first season as a Mississippi State wide receiver.
Despite having the option to return for another year, he declared for the 2021 NFL Draft at the end of the season.
Osirus Mitchell’s best fits in the 2021 NFL Draft
Mitchell’s limited college opportunities and lack of deep speed are likely to impact his 2021 NFL Draft stock. In truth, it would be a surprise if Mitchell hears his name before the seventh round.
Nevertheless, his presence as a big-bodied receiver who can go up and get the ball on the boundary means he will no doubt attract some attention. The Mississippi State wide receiver has demonstrated he can find the end zone, and there are plenty of teams that need that kind of playmaker.
Some team fits include the New England Patriots, Detroit Lions, and the Cleveland Browns. If Mitchell is selected in the 2021 NFL Draft, he will become the first Mississippi State wide receiver taken since Eric Moulds was a first-round pick of the Buffalo Bills in the 1996 NFL Draft.
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