Mitchell has the size and athletic ability to play more than one position on the offensive line. He has excellent feet and plays with very good balance and technique. Mitchell gives great effort on every play and does a nice job of staying with his blocks until the whistle blows. He has those long arms that make it hard to get around him. He can mirror his opponent and change direction as well as any offensive lineman I have seen coming out of college. He is quick enough out of his stance to play one of the guard positions and can play right tackle or left tackle at Pro Bowl level, and the guard position at a high level. He's the type of player you don't notice at first because he plays effortlessly. He has the athleticism to be used in any style of blocking scheme and is quick enough to go to the second level and block linebackers. Mitchell has no problems getting out and blocking for screen plays, but I think Mitchell's best attribute is his football intelligence. You do not fool this kid very much at all and he learns as the game progresses. He reminds me a lot of David Diehl (LT, NY Giants).
Mitchell is a good run blocker, but it is not his strength. That's why he's a better fit for the tackle position than playing him inside at one of the guard positions. If you want him to play guard, you will have to wait for him to improve his technique and get stronger in his lower body. His strength is pass blocking in spite of the fact he has the body of a guard. After you draft him and he starts on a better strength and conditioning program, he will be able to play just about any line position that you need him to play. In fact, it would not surprise me for him to play center in a pinch...just give him some time.
Mitchell should be at the top of a lot teams' offensive linemen list to draft. He could move all the way up to the first round or not be selected until the 4th round for the simple reason he plays in the Pac 12. For me personally, he is a 1st round selection and I consider him the third best tackle in this draft behind Matt Kalil (LT, USC) and Mike Adams (LT, Ohio St). If Mike Adams' off field issues are more intense than we all know, then Mitchell moves up to being the second best tackle in this draft on my list. I have seen him play both left and right tackle and I can tell you, he handles just about anything that is thrown at him. His lack of power when run blocking will turn some teams off, but he gets the job done. He is not going to pancake a lot of players, but he does an excellent job of steering his opponents to where he wants them to go. When his strength is challenged, I have never seen him get beat. He handles the bull as well as any tackle because his techniques are excellent. He just does his job and a lot of coaches have a hard time with offensive linemen who do not dominate an opponent. Mitchell is smart and he is not going to get beat in spite of not being a physical blocker. The coaches who want offensive linemen who make a big show of throwing their opponents to the ground will not be impressed with Mitchell. The teams who draft well and are in the playoffs year after year will. Mitchell is not a finesse offensive lineman -- he just gives you the impression that he is. The players who go up against him will tell you, Mitchell didn't let them sniff the backfield all day long; they're not sure how that happened, but it just did. Mitchell's style of play sneaks up on you like a ninja in the dark and leaves you wondering how he did it. As soon as you pressure him, he shows his hidden athletic talents and leaves you wondering where those talents come from. Mitchell (Ninja) Schwartz...not sure how that fits, but I am sure of how good an offensive lineman he will be.
The BS Detector
Drew Boylhart Jan /12