2021 NFL Draft Prospect Profile: RB Elijah Mitchell, Louisiana

Louisiana's Elijah Mitchell checks a lot of boxes desired for a developmental running back. Might he make a solid Day 3 addition for the Giants?
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RB ELIJAH MITCHELL

Height: 5'10"
Weight: 201 lbs.
Class: Senior
School: Louisiana 


Former two-star recruit out of Erath High School in Erath, Louisiana, where he played both running back and wide receiver. He was the 118th Louisiana recruit in the 2017 cycle. Was named Second-Team All-Sun Belt in 2018 & 2019 and was First Team All-Sun Belt in 2020.

Mitchell rushed the ball 527 yards for 3,267 yards (6.2 YPC) for 41 touchdowns as well. He also caught 49 balls for 597 yards (12.2 YPC) for five receiving touchdowns. He would have had more production if it wasn’t for a 2017 Lisfranc injury that limited him to only five games. He received an invite to the 2021 Reese’s Senior Bowl.

Elijah Mitchell reportedly ate well and cut weight for his pro day - he may play more around 210 pounds. He ran an impressive 4.38 40-yard-dash which ranks in the 96th percentile; he also ran a 6.94 3-cone (71st percentile), a 4.19 short shuttle (73rd percentile), and a vertical of 38” with a broad jump of 128”, which is 81st and 93rd percentile respectively.

Notables

Had a Lisfranc injury in his foot that forced him to miss the majority of the 2017 season. Had 42 carries for 257 yards and three touchdowns in that season which was his freshman year.

Traits

A late-round running back with solid foot speed and good overall athletic traits, although I believe he tested a bit better than he showed on his overall tape. He does have a solid burst but takes a bit too long to accelerate up to top speed.

He combines enough athleticism, contact balance, and solid play strength to be a good addition in the late rounds, but the fact that he didn’t play many special teams may hurt him.

He plays behind his pads well with good footwork and solid overall decisiveness. He isn’t the most patient back in the draft but does well to lower his shoulder and churn his legs through contact to fall forward for extra yards. Tackle-breaking ability is good, albeit a lower level of competition, and play strength is solid while his competitive toughness is very good.

Vision is solid; he presses the line of scrimmage well and has a one-cut ability. He does tend to get a bit high when he gets to the second level. Shows solid change of direction and agility ability at the second level to force disadvantages angles for defenders to attempt to make tackles. He also does well to run through the arm tackle attempts.

He has a lot of carries on his legs which may concern some. He was used as a receiver in college; has solid hands, and may not be a dynamic pass catcher, but he certainly has more than enough skills to execute that role. Route tree wasn’t overly extensive.

He did well in blitz pick up--he  sticks his nose into blitzers with a low center of gravity and shows good play strength in this area while showing good processing ability to locate the extra rusher. I wish he was a bit more of a playmaker, but I believe his athleticism is a bit better than just a plodder.

Overall, Mitchell is a solid running back option who can move the sticks while checking many boxes but not being dynamic at any one thing. Mitchell takes a bit too long to accelerate to his second gear, but he does have the contact balance to run through adequate tackle attempts. He could be an option with one of the Giants’ two sixth-round picks or in undrafted free agency.


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