Eric Mac Lain is a former All-ACC guard for the Clemson Tigers and is entering his second season as an analyst on the ACC Network.
As we get closer to what we hope is the 2020 season, Mac Lain is taking a look at some of the top units and players from the ACC on his personal Twitter account.
Over the weekend, Mac Lain revealed his top five tight ends for 2020. Unsurprisingly, Virginia Tech’s James Mitchell made the list.
Mitchell came in at No. 3 on Mac Lain’s list behind Brevin Jordan of Miami and Hunter Long of Boston College. There’s no certainly no shame in those rankings.
Jordan, like Mitchell, is also a junior, caught 35 passes for 495 yards and two touchdowns in 2019. Long, a redshirt junior caught 26 passes for 464 yards and two scores.
Mitchell played in all 13 games for the Hokies last fall, making eight starts. He caught 21 passes for 361 yards and two touchdowns. He averaged over 17 yards per reception and also had three rushing touchdowns.
And Mitchell arrived at those numbers while splitting time with Dalton Keene — who is now in the NFL with the New England Patriots. Also, Virginia Tech’s coaching staff doesn’t always get creative enough with its tight ends, a common complaint of Hokie fans.
When the Hokies did switch to Hendon Hooker at quarterback last fall, the staff did a better job of utilizing the tight ends. Mitchell, along with Tre Turner and Tayvion Robinson, should absolutely be featured in Virginia Tech’s passing game this season.
Mitchell has loads of talent. It’s up to offensive coordinator Brad Cornelson and Hooker to get Mitchell the football — and keep him involved in the offense. If that happens, Mitchell could have a record-breaking season at tight end for the Hokies.