by J.T. Toth
Photo courtesy of Toledo Athletics.
At Draft 412, the NFL draft talk never ends. We will keep you ready for the next set of gridiron stars—from today and all the way until draft night 2024. We will bring you mock drafts, player profiles, individual team needs, and everything else you may need related to the 2024 NFL Draft.
Today’s Spotlight - Toledo, Cornerback, Quinyon Mitchell
Name - Quinyon Mitchell
Pos - CB
Team - Toledo
HT/WT - 6’0” 196 lbs.
Home – Williston, FL
Quinyon Mitchell was a three-time letter winner at Williston High School in Florida and starred on both sides of the ball, ending his high school career with 86 tackles, 8 interceptions, and 19 pass deflections on defense. He also ran for 983 yards and 11 touchdowns as a senior, averaging 9.5 yards per carry. He finished high school as a 3-star recruit according to 247Sports and committed to Toledo University during his senior year.
Mitchell joined Toledo in the fall of 2020, and played in 6 games as a freshman. He tallied 7 tackles in his limited time for the Rockets, including 3 tackles in the season opener against Bowling Green.
Mitchell became a fixture in the starting lineup in 2021, starting 13 games and collecting 34 tackles, 8 passes defended, and 1 sack. His biggest game of the season came against Notre Dame where he accrued 5 tackles, 1 sack, 1 forced fumble and 1 fumble recovery.
In 2022. was the year Mitchell became a “must watch” prospect in the scouting circles. He was a playmaker in the secondary for Toledo, capable of being a game changer. He finished the season with 41 tackles, 5 interceptions, and 25 passes defended. He returned 2 of the interceptions for touchdowns and his 25 passes defended led the country. He also had 20 pass breakups which set a Toledo record for breakups in a season, breaking Samuel Womack’s record of 16 in 2021. His performance did not go unnoticed as Phil Steele and Pro Football Focus selected him as a second team All-American.
Mitchell has picked up where he left off last year and has been a shutdown cornerback for Toledo in 2023. He has started 13 games and has totaled 41 tackles, 1 interception and 18 passes defended. He is a top 10 cornerback in next year’s draft.
Mitchell has a great mix of size, speed and aggressiveness. He mirrors receivers well while playing a physical style to keep receivers off balance coming off the line. He attacks the ball like a receiver and anytime the ball is in his hands, he has the ability to make a big play. His style of play in run stopping is more like a safety than a cornerback and he will attack wide receivers blocks aggressively. He has shown over the past 2 seasons that he can be a shutdown cornerback who has the ability to be put out on an island one-on-one. He is a willing run stopper who does a good job of playing downhill and attacking the ball carrier before they get a full head of steam. He is excellent at knowing when to get his hands involved to defend passes without taking pass interference calls.
On the downside, Mitchell does not have elite speed and may not be able to keep up with the fastest of NFL receivers. He has had moments where he sells out for an interception and can be beaten when it backfires. His only downside with mechanics is his backpedal, which is a little stiff and he loses balance in his transition. His aggressiveness can get the best of him in play actions and pump fakes and some scouts may ding him for playing against MAC level competition.
You only have to look back to last year’s draft to see a good pro comparison to Quinyon Mitchell. Brian Branch, a 2nd round pick out of Alabama was a hard hitting defender who was capable of making a game changing play to turn the tide. Mitchell is a tad bit more athletic than Branch and will most likely be a 3rd round pick due to his level of competition.
Big play ability
Quinyon Mitchell has enough ceiling to get him drafted on the 2nd day, and he will become a starting cornerback in the NFL. You cannot teach his big play ability and his physicality. He has the potential to be something special at the NFL level.
Draft 412 Draft Prediction - 2nd round or 3rd round