Mike Mitchell (safety)
At a game in Denver in October, 2010.
No. 23 Pittsburgh Steelers
|Date of birth:June 10, 1987|
|Place of birth: Fort Thomas, Kentucky|
|High school: Ft. Thomas (KY) Highlands|
|NFL Draft: 2009 / Round: 2 / Pick: 47|
|Debuted in 2009 for the Oakland Raiders|
|Roster status: Active|
Career NFL statistics as of Week 17, 2014
Michael Mitchell (born June 10, 1987) is an American football safety for the Pittsburgh Steelers of the National Football League (NFL). He was drafted by the Oakland Raiders in the second round of the 2009 NFL Draft. He played college football at Ohio.
Mitchell attended Covington Catholic High School in Park Hills, Kentucky for his first three years. He lettered as a sophomore and junior before transferring to Highlands High School in Fort Thomas, Ky., where he lettered one, and earned Kentucky All-Star honors, in addition to being selected honorable mention All-State as a senior. That year, he led the team to the state title, recording 87 tackles with three forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries, returning one for a touchdown.
Mitchell started 30 of 45 games at Ohio University—23 at strong safety and seven at free safety and recorded 212 tackles (126 solos) with three sacks, 15 stops for losses and one quarterback pressure and he recovered one fumble and caused four others. He deflected 13 passes and intercepted seven others. In 2008 he started 11 games at strong safety and had 62 tackles (36 solos) that included an assisted sack and 4.5 stops for losses and caused two fumbles and deflected five passes and led the team with three interceptions for 61 yards. As a junior, in 2007, Mitchell started 11 games at strong safety, despite having several injuries. He finished with 74 tackles (47 solos) that included 1.5 sacks, four stops for losses and a quarterback pressure. He also recovered a fumble and deflected four passes. He led the team with a pair of interceptions for 49 yards in returns. In 2006 he played in all fourteen games, starting the last eight contests that included seven at free safety before shifting to strong safety for the GMAC Bowl. He had 55 tackles (27 solos), including a sack and five stops for losses a caused fumble, deflected two passes and intercepted two others for 30 yards in returns. As a true freshman in 2005 Mitchell appeared in nine games, recording 21 tackles (16 solos) with 1.5 stops for losses, caused a fumble and deflected two passes
Mitchell wasn't invited to the NFL Combine, but performed well at Ohio's Pro Day. He ran a 4.39-second 40-yard dash and he did 22 repetitions of 225 pounds on the bench press to go along with a 37½-inch vertical and a 10-foot, 3-inch broad jump.
|Ht||Wt||40-yard dash||10-yd split||20-yd split||20 ss||3-cone||Vert||Broad||BP||Wonderlic|
|6′1″ **||216 lb **||4.39 **||1.50 **||2.55 **||4.19 **||6.85 **||37½″ **||10′3″ **||22 **||X|
(**represents Ohio Pro Day)—X = did not participate
Mitchell's selection raised eyebrows on draft day, as most television commentators had never heard of him and could not find him in draft guides. Mitchell was generally expected to be a second-day pick or an undrafted free agent. ESPN analyst Mel Kiper said Mitchell's grade was somewhere between the 40th and 70th safety available in the draft, and the NFL Network's Mike Mayock had given Mitchell a seventh round grade. But after posting a 4.43 time in the 40-yard dash at Ohio University's pro day, he was selected by the Oakland Raiders with the 47th overall selection. Later on draft day, it was reported that Mitchell was being targeted by the Chicago Bears (selecting at 49—two spots behind the Raiders). However, after Mitchell was taken by the Raiders, the Bears ultimately traded their selection. Upon report of this, Mike Mayock of the NFL Network apologized to the Raiders for his low grade. Mel Kiper later gave it "Most Likely To Make The Raiders Look Good Award," stating "Oakland took Michael Mitchell, OK?" "I asked teams after the draft. The misnomer is it's all Mel Kiper's opinion, it's all Todd McShay. You have to ask other teams. We're not the end-all, be-all. Some said they had him as a free agent. One team told me they had Michael Mitchell in the third round. They had him as a Pro Bowler. They think it's a great pick by the Oakland Raiders. So Oakland wasn't the only team out on the island that saw something in that kid."
Mitchell is the highest Ohio player to be drafted since Gene Ruskowski's fifth-round selection (44th overall) by the Los Angeles Rams in 1948. The last time an Ohio student-athlete was drafted in a higher round was the Bobcats' only first round selection, Art Lewis (ninth overall) in 1936 by the New York Giants.
Mitchell was officially signed by the Oakland Raiders on July 27, 2009.
Mitchell signed a one-year deal with the Carolina Panthers on March 20, 2013. During the 2013-2014 season, he had a career year, recording his most sacks in a season with 3.5, most forced fumbles in a season with 2 and most interceptions in a season with 4. His play contributed to a season where the defense was ranked 2nd in the NFL in total yards, rushing yards, and points, and helped the team win a division title and playoff berth for the first time in 5 years.
- CBS Sports
- White, David (April 26, 2009). "Raiders go their own way in draft". San Francisco Chronicle.
- "Lions take Oklahoma State TE despite past indiscretion". Fort Worth Star-Telegram. April 26, 2009.
- Cooper, J.J. (April 26, 2009). "Lions take Oklahoma State TE despite past indiscretion". NFL Fanhouse.
- "Safety Mike Mitchell expected to be selected by Chicago Bears". Chicago Tribune. April 25, 2009.
- Tuesday with Mel Kiper Jr.
- "Ohio's Mitchell Taken By Raiders". WOWK. April 25, 2009.
- Panthers strengthen secondary
- Schefter, Adam. "Steelers gave former Panthers S Mike Mitchell a five-year, $25 million deal, per source.". Twitter. Retrieved 11 March 2014.
- Pittsburgh Steelers bio
- Carolina Panthers bio
- Oakland Raiders bio
- Ohio Bobcats bio
- Michael Mitchell on Twitter