By: Tanner Elliott
Elijah Mitchell is a player who has very good balance; you can see it every time someone tries to chip him. In order to tackle him, one has to wrap him up, or he’ll stay on his feet. This was one of my favorite parts of scouting him, as there were times a defender would come flying in and drive at his knee, and Mitchell would still find a way to stay up. He’s an aggressive ball carrier, and you can see it when he runs. He always wants to get the most yards possible, and he runs with pride. Whenever Mitchell would dive on a run, he would always just go full force; it didn’t matter who was in front of him.
Mitchell looks lost in pass protection. He doesn’t know where to look, or where to block in some cases. In one case I saw, Mitchell ended up blocking the back of his own lineman. This was very alarming to me, as having a back who can pass block is very important. Mitchell isn’t the best at making people miss, as he tries to use his speed (when he isn’t the fastest) or run over them. Most of the time when Mitchell was in a one on one situation, he wouldn’t try to put a move on someone or try a stutter step. His vision also isn’t the best, as you saw many times in college; he just tried to run through the hole that the play was designed for. This led to a ton of plays being gains of just one or two yards, whereas if he cut back, he would have gotten three or four.
Both Conner and Mitchell are aggressive runners who like to get those extra yards, but can turn on the jets if they need to. They both excel in-between the tackles and have exceptional balance. Conner does have a bit more of an impact in the passing game compared to Mitchell, but Mitchell does have some potential as a threat out of the backfield as he flashed in college.
Mitchell is an interesting prospect. His tape is very inconsistent, and at times very underwhelming. His ceiling is an average NFL backup who might sneak his way into the mid-to-late fourth round. His floor will be a team's third option at running back, and draft-wise would be the late fifth or early sixth round. He may end up on a team’s practice squad to try to work his way up from there.