Photo Credit: Harley Taylor
All-American Christian Darrisaw's NFL Draft declaration left star tight end James Mitchell as the lone non-senior Hokie who had Hokie fans wondering if he would return to Virginia Tech or leave for the NFL. Tonight, Mitchell made his decision likely surprisingly many fans and media members in the process.
James Mitchell announced that he will return for his fourth season at Virginia Tech in 2021 instead of leaving early for the NFL Draft. This comes after had a strong junior season with 26 receptions for 435 yards and 4 touchdowns plus a rushing touchdowns.
Mitchell has always been a strong receiver and playmaker, and while he has continued to grow in that area, he's also become a more complete tight end with his blocking abilities showing significant improvement since his arrival at Tech. Because of all that, Mitchell was considered a consensus top 5 tight end and likely had a floor of day 2 of the upcoming NFL Draft.
Instead, Mitchell returns to Blacksburg where he has a great opportunity to improve his draft stock even more and make a run at being a first round selection. If he were able to achieve that in 2022 (or even 2023), he would be the first tight end in school history to be selected in the first round of the NFL Draft.
Mitchell also returns as a likely Preseason All-ACC member in 2021 and a top contender to win the Mackey Award which goes to the best tight end in America. He'll lead a strong receiving corps in 2021 that includes Tre Turner, Tayvion Robinson, Changa Hodge, and Raheem Blackshear plus a healthy Jaden Payoute.
We will have more as this story develops.