With the 177th pick in the 2022 draft, the Detroit Lions selected James Mitchell, tight end out of Virginia Tech. Mitchell went as pick 34 in the fifth round in day three of the draft in Las Vegas.
“I would say I’m just a very diverse player. At Virginia Tech I was used all over the field. I became a better blocker as the years went on at Tech, but I pride myself on being able to play all over the field. I’m happy to be able to continue to grow and learn behind a guy like T.J. Hockenson and just soak it all in.”
Mitchell was a four-time All-Virginia tight end at Union High School, but also played as wildcat quarterback in his final year before heading to college. In college, he played often off the bat, but became a larger part of the Hokies offense later in his college career. In 202, he led the team with four receiving touchdowns in ten games and nine starts. He missed all but the first two games of the 2021 season at Virginia Tech after suffering a knee injury. He was granted a medical red shirt year for the 2021 season prior to declaring for the draft.
As far as his knee injury, he’s optimistic about being ready for his NFL debut.
“I’m seven months out, seven months and some weeks. I’m pretty much back,” Mitchell said. “I’m doing everything from running, cutting, running routes. I’m expected to be fully cleared by June at the latest. I’ll be ready to go by training camp. I’m excited.”
Dan Campbell is a former tight end and Mitchell said he’s excited to be able to learn from a head coach with experience in his position.
“Just being able to learn from a coach like that, a guy who’s played the position and knows what it’s about, like I said with T.J. too there, I’m just excited to be in that environment and learn and just soak it all in. I know they will continue to help me develop as a player and will get me where I want to be.”