Ahmir Mitchell, Wolverine

Ahmir Mitchell, Wolverine


August 27, 2015

Egg Harbor City (NJ) Cedar Creek wide receiver Ahmir Mitchell

Egg Harbor City (NJ) Cedar Creek wide receiver Ahmir Mitchell committed to Michigan on Thursday afternoon. He chose the Wolverines over offers from Florida State, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Penn State, and Rutgers, among others.

Mitchell is 6’3″, 206 lbs. He claims a 4.67 forty. As a junior in 2014, he caught 47 passes for 881 yards and 12 touchdowns. He added almost 600 more yards and 10 touchdowns carrying the ball, on defense, and on special teams.

RATINGS
ESPN: 4-star, 82 grade, #31 WR, #216 overall
Rivals: 4-star, #19 WR, #102 overall
Scout: 4-star, #24 WR, #131 overall
247 Sports: 4-star, 94 grade, #8 ATH, #108 overall

Hit the jump for the rest of the evaluation of Mitchell.

Michigan started recruiting Mitchell under Brady Hoke, whose staff wanted him as a safety. As time went on, more and more teams wanted him as a wide receiver . . . and nobody else wanted him as a safety. Eventually Michigan caught on, and Harbaugh’s staff recruited him as a receiver. Things started moving in a more positive direction for the Wolverines. Michigan has hit New Jersey hard in this 2016 recruiting class, reeling in Camden wideout Brad Hawkins, Jr. and defensive end Ron Johnson, Jr. Those two commitments seemed to help convince Mitchell to choose the Wolverines, and two visits in late July and early August solidified Michigan as the choice.

Mitchell is a bit of a freak athlete. He has good size, claims a 34.7″ vertical, changes direction well, and claims a 4.67 forty. Cedar Creek’s competition isn’t outstanding with enrollment there under 1,000 students, but Mitchell is head and shoulders above the competition. He shows the speed to outrun defenders, he can make people miss, and he’s strong enough to run through tackles. In fact, that ability to run after the catch is probably his strongest attribute. He frequently uses his long wingspan and a stiff-arm to brush away smaller defenders. As a receiver, he does a nice job of catching with his hands away from his body and snagging the ball out of the air.

On the other hand, the biggest question mark about Mitchell is his hands. He has received criticism for dropping too many balls. That’s not visible in his highlights, because most highlight films don’t enlighten us to dropped passes. It’s tough for me to judge whether that’s a legitimate issue or not, but he does look quite natural catching the ball and uses pretty good technique, so any issue in that regard might be a concentration issue. Otherwise, there’s not much to criticize. People have questioned his speed, because too many people believe the fake 4.4 forties that seemingly every wide receiver prospect claims. If a 4.67 forty is his true speed, he’s fine; if that’s his exaggerated time, there might be an issue. For college comparisons, guys like Devin Funchess and Donovan Warren ran in the same neighborhood at the NFL Combine, and they seemed to do pretty well for themselves at Michigan.

The hands issue will be something to watch, but overall, I like Mitchell. If he cannot be relied upon to catch the ball, there’s always the possibility that he could move to safety or outside linebacker. He’s a good athlete who should be able to contribute on the football field somewhere. He has a nice build, should be able to bulk up to 215 lbs. (or more), and could be tough to deal with for Big Ten cornerbacks. Ohio State was rumored to have thought that he could outgrow the wide receiver position and turn into a tight end, but Jim Harbaugh loves tight ends, so that’s less of an issue at Michigan.

Michigan now has 23 commits in the 2016 class, including the two wide receivers from New Jersey and Chris Evans from Indiana. The Wolverines have still been pursuing other wide receivers or wide receiver/defensive backs like Simi Fehoko (Stanford), Mecole Hardman, Jack Jones, and Pie Young, so they’re not necessarily done at the position. However, it may depend on how much attrition there is, because the overflowing class doesn’t leave much room to fill other positions (defensive tackle, tight end, etc.). I don’t think an outside receiver like Fehoko adds a lot of value to the class, but I don’t think it’s ever a bad idea to bring in an athlete like Hardman, Jones, or Young, who can fill several different positions.

TTB Rating: 83 (ratings explanation)

2 comments

  1. Comments: 263
    Joined: 8/12/2015
    Painter Smurf
    Aug 28, 2015 at 8:15 AM

    Smooth athlete. Extremely confident after the catch. Runs with good power and also looks like a legit 200+ pounder (HS WR weights seem to be more inflated than some other positions). Has a pretty good top gear. Hopefully, his hands turn out to be adequate. Not sure if he will pan out, but this is the type of athlete that UM needs to start stock-piling at the WR position.

  2. Comments: 1357
    Joined: 8/13/2015
    Roanman
    Aug 28, 2015 at 9:14 AM

    His Sophomore film is more fun.

    http://www.hudl.com/athlete/2087807/highlights/91014376/v2

    You can see maybe why Hoke liked him at Safety, he’s really alert to the football.

    I liked the kid Mitchell just crushed blocking on a kickoff. He got up and sprinted hard after the ball. Although, he might have just wanted to get away from Mitchell.

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