Theres no doubt about it that when it comes to the Patriots recruiting young receivers, they haven’t always been successful. Although Malcolm Mitchell, the 6’1 Wide Receiver out of Georgia, might just change that for New England, making the number 19 look better than ever.
Aside from the Patriots trade in 2014 Brandon Lafell, their passing game has mostly consisted of Julian Edelman, Rob Gronkowski, and numerous running backs. Lafell had his moments in the 2014 season, making us believe he was the next big thing for the Patriots, however after missing six weeks in 2015 due to his foot injury, he never really found his momentum again. According to NFL.com, Lafell had only put up 37 catches for 515 yards in 11 games, and failed to score any touchdowns..zero.
On the other hand, Malcolm Mitchell was once regarded as a top-ten prospect after his impressive skills in his early career until his injury in 2013, tearing his ACL, which stalled him. Coming back in his last two seasons, he fought hard to become an outstanding player like he had in his early career in Athens. In 2015 he finally started in 13 games catching 58 passes for 865 yards and five touchdowns. Although he’s not putting up huge numbers like many Big 12 receivers such as Old Miss Rebels WR, Laquon Treadwell, or Texas A&M Aggies WR, Josh Reynolds are, New England sure does see Mitchell’s reliable hands, where he has the ability to adjust to throws high/low and outside.
Aside from Mitchell’s college career, he showed a few impressive plays during the pre-season opener in Gillette against the New Orlean Saints catching four passes for 55 yards. Jimmy Garoppolo and Mitchell teamed up for a 24-yard gain before his elbow injury in the second quarter. Although the gruesome injury seemed serious, good news is that the injury doesn’t seem to be as bad as it looked, as Mitchell joined practice with the Chicago Bears on Monday in full pads. Bad news, is that we’ve seen plenty of injuries throughout the past year and with Mitchell’s injury history, we can only hope that he isn’t a candidate for the injury list when the season starts. One thing is for sure though, Mitchell could be the next outside-the-numbers threat making a complementary fit for the New England Patriots.