NFL Draft News & Analysis

2024 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Toledo CB Quinyon Mitchell

2WFMWXM MOBILE, AL - JANUARY 31: National defensive back Quinyon Mitchell of Toledo (7) during the National team practice for the Reese's Senior Bowl on January 31, 2024 at Hancock Whitney Stadium in Mobile, Alabama. (Photo by Michael Wade/Icon Sportswire) (Icon Sportswire via AP Images)

The 2024 NFL Draft is fast approaching. The PFF big board is live, mock draft season is in full swing and the 2024 NFL Scouting Combine has wrapped up.

The cornerback class this year features high-end talent and even superstar potential, with players like Toledo’s Quinyon Mitchell and Iowa’s Cooper DeJean sitting atop the class. There is tremendous depth at the cornerback position in 2024, with seven corners ranking in the top 50 of PFF’s big board.

Let's look at Toledos Quinyon Mitchell, the highest-graded cornerback in the nation in 2023. 


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SCOUTING SUMMARY

No FBS cornerback forced more incompletions over the past two seasons than Mitchell. He did so while playing an off-coverage role in a Cover 3-heavy scheme. He would align himself 8-10 yards off the line of scrimmage, keep his eyes on the quarterback and wait to pounce.

His recovery speed and acceleration are both elite, even for NFL standards. He does not have much experience in press, but he has the size and movement skills to succeed there. His instincts in zone are still a work in progress.

He didn’t miss many tackles in run defense, but his technique isn't as fundamentally sound as it could be.

Click here to see Quinton Mitchell's 2024 NFL Draft profile!

WINS ABOVE AVERAGE

WAA represents the number of wins a player is worth over an average college football player and is a metric evaluators can utilize to assess performance.

It combines how well a player performed in each facet of play (using PFF grades) and how valuable each facet is to winning football games. The result is a first-of-its-kind metric that allows for cross-positional valuation and predicts future value at the player and team levels.

Mitchell’s Wins Above Average (WAA) since 2020.

HOW MITCHELL RANKS IN THE STABLE METRICS

Coverage grade is not a stable measure by itself, but it becomes more stable when it is used to evaluate players who will go on to play in similar situations. For example, if a cornerback plays primarily on the outside or in the slot, his projection is more stable if he is projected to the same role the following year.

Plays in “single” coverage are more stable, whether the player is in pure man-to-man or simply matching up one-on-one from a zone concept.

Another way to isolate how a coverage player has been helped or hurt by his surroundings is using coverage grade when a QB is in a clean pocket and on plays in which the pass is out in 3.0 seconds or less. Both situations are among the most common for defensive backs, and a low percentage of targets in these situations suggests some kind of help from his pass rushers or opponents.

Forced incompletion rate is relatively stable from season to season, making it an important number when projecting future performance.

Mitchell’s percentile ranks in the most stable defensive stats since 2020.

Over the last three seasons, Mitchell has earned top-five marks in the most stable PFF metrics. He posted a 95.0 career grade at outside cornerback, allowing only 0.77 yards allowed per snap and just 76 receptions.

He played only 52 snaps in the slot throughout his time as a Rocket but put up a 75.4 coverage grade when doing so. He allowed just five touchdowns, picked off eight passes and forced 46 incompletions. You’re not going to find a much more productive cornerback.

BOTTOM LINE FROM PFF's 2024 NFL DRAFT GUIDE

Mitchell recorded some of the best advanced coverage metrics over a two-year sample size in the PFF college era. He has all the ability in the world to be a CB1 at the next level, but his lack of experience in press coverage could stop him from being a unanimous first-round pick on every team's board.

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