Quinyon Mitchell’s Draft Profile | Toledo, CB Scouting Report

With his 2024 NFL Draft scouting report, could Toledo CB Quinyon Mitchell be the Rockets' first Round 1 selection since 1993?

The Toledo Rockets have just one first-round NFL Draft pick in school history. Can cornerback Quinyon Mitchell be the next one with his 2024 NFL Draft scouting report? Even in a strong CB class, Mitchell’s status as a Round 1 prospect is almost an absolute certainty. Here’s why.

Quinyon Mitchell Draft Profile and Measurements

  • Height: 6’0 3/8″
  • Weight: 195 pounds
  • Length: 31 1/8″
  • Wingspan: 75 3/4″
  • Hand: 9 1/8″
  • Position: Cornerback
  • School: Toledo
  • Current Year: Redshirt Junior

Few small-school prospects have amassed a legacy quite like what Mitchell was able to build with the Rockets. Mitchell joined the team as a fairly non-descript three-star recruit but left as one of the program’s most prolific defensive playmakers in history.

After redshirting in 2020, Mitchell gave a preview of his elite playmaking ability in 2021, with eight pass deflections in his first year enjoying consistent defensive playing time.

MORE: Top CBs in the 2024 NFL Draft

In 2022, Mitchell ended the year in second place for passes defensed across the entire nation with 19, and he earned national notoriety for his four-interception, two-pick-six performance against Northern Illinois in early October.

All told, in just three years as a full-time starter for the Rockets, Mitchell racked up six interceptions and 45 pass breakups. He was an All-MAC and All-American performer. At the Reese’s Senior Bowl, he dominated the Power Five competition, earning PFN’s Defensive Player of the Week award.

Mitchell’s tape was already superb, and his Senior Bowl showing only reaffirmed his rare talent while also checking more boxes on the mechanical side. Now, the question is quickly shifting away from whether or not Mitchell will go in Round 1 and toward how high he’ll go.

Mitchell’s Scouting Report

Strengths

  • Elite athlete with rumored 4.3 pace, verified by his bristling closing speed on tape.
  • Can click and close and undercut passes in an instant with his searing explosiveness.
  • Energized short-area mover with torrid foot speed and effervescent corrective twitch.
  • Has a strong, well-built frame with great density, fluidity, and proportional length.
  • Proven ball-hawk with six interceptions and 37 pass breakups over the past two years.
  • Authoritative playmaking machine with vertical athleticism, timing, and coordination.
  • Can erase windows with speed and pinch receivers against the boundary in side-saddle.
  • Has great overarching physicality, both closing downhill and dictating the catch point.
  • Disciplined with off-man depth and can react instantly to in-breaking routes.
  • Adept processor in zone who can recognize and hawk in front of out routes and curls.
  • With his twitch, can snap out of his stance and launch into WRs, jarring passes loose.
  • Can vary his footwork and flow from his pedal to stutters and hip transitions with ease.
  • Uses his high-energy short-area athleticism to break down ahead of tackles in support.
  • Has the versatility to play the boundary or the slot in man, off-man, or zone coverage.
  • Has the frame and targeted physicality to dictate reps in press-man and smother WRs.

Weaknesses

  • Doesn’t quite have elite fluidity and sink when bending to close ground on hitches.
  • Processing when surveying in-breakers and curls in zone can be more consistent.
  • At times, extends before his feet are set in press-man, causing lurches.
  • Sometimes turns his hips to the sideline too early in reps, giving up inside leverage.
  • Can be baited into floating upfield by receivers who know how to press into stems.
  • Can play too tall in off-man and zone at times, causing a delay when sinking his hips.
  • Has room to be more proactive with his footwork tempo in space to quicken reactions.
  • Sometimes scoops up as a tackler and fails to fully wrap up and drive through runners.
  • Still gaining press-man experience and can improve upper-lower synergy.
  • Effort as a pursuit defender sometimes fades late in reps.

Current Draft Projection and Summary

Mitchell grades out as a top-20 prospect in the 2024 NFL Draft and a Round 1 candidate who’s worth consideration in the mid-first. Particularly for off-man and zone-heavy teams, Mitchell has enticing upside — but at the Senior Bowl, he also confirmed his ability to play press-man at a high level.

The majority of Mitchell’s appeal as a prospect comes from his physical profile and playmaking ability. At 6’0″, 195 pounds, Mitchell has good play strength and proportional length — traits that are amplified by his elite explosiveness, closing speed, and twitch.

Mitchell has the physical foundation of a high-level playmaker, and he has the instincts of one, too. Particularly in off-man and zone, he’s adept at recognizing routes and breaking early on passes, and at the catch point, he’s coordinated, authoritative, and exhaustive with his length.

Not only does Mitchell have the speed and playmaking instincts to generate turnovers and incompletions at a high clip, but he’s also a fairly nuanced cover man in space, who’s shown he can vary his footwork, transition from his pedal, and recover positioning.

Mitchell does have occasional minor delays in processing, and his technique can also improve — particularly in press-man and off-man. He’s not an experienced press-man CB, and though his potential is clear, his synergy is still a work in progress.

Meanwhile, in off-man, Mitchell occasionally plays tall and lopsided and gives up hip leverage too early.

KEEP READING: Free NFL Mock Draft Simulator With Trades

That said, if Mitchell can clean up some fleeting technical flaws, he has the high-end physical traits and playmaking feel to be an impact starter at CB in the NFL. And on Day 1, his willingness to play special teams as a gunner and punt blocker will also be big.

At his peak, Mitchell can be an invaluable ball-hawk and turnover generator for an NFL defense with all-encompassing stylistic flexibility in coverage and the versatility to play the boundary or the slot.

All the 2024 NFL Draft resources you need — the draft order, the top QBs, the Top 100 prospects, and the full 2024 Big Board — right at your fingertips at Pro Football Network!

Listen to the PFN Scouting Podcast

Listen to the PFN Scouting Podcast! Click the embedded player below to listen, or you can find the PFN Scouting Podcast on iTunes, Spotify, and all major podcast platforms.  Be sure to subscribe and leave us a five-star review! Rather watch instead? Check out the PFN Scouting Podcast on our Scouting YouTube channel.

Join the Conversation!

Related Articles