Virginia Tech TE James Mitchell Selected in the Fifth Round of the 2022 NFL Draft by the Detroit Lions

Virginia Tech TE James Mitchell Selected in the Fifth Round of the 2022 NFL Draft by the Detroit Lions
Photo Credit: Dave Knachel/Virginia Tech Athletics
Tim Thomas

Tim Thomas | @TimThomasTLP

TLP: Editor
Apr 30, 2022

It took 177 picks but Virginia Tech had their first player selected in the 2022 NFL Draft in standout TE and former captain James Mitchell.

James Mitchell was selected 177th overall in the fifth round of the 2022 NFL Draft by the Detroit Lions. His selection makes him the 6th highest Virginia Tech tight end selected in NFL Draft history with Dalton Keene continuing to hold a record that seemed likely to be broken by Mitchell before he suffered a season-ending knee injury against Middle Tennessee.

During his time in Blacksburg, Mitchell had 52 catches for 838 yards and 7 touchdowns including 26 catches for 435 yards and 4 touchdowns in 2020. He also had 5 rushing touchdowns in college though he will almost certainly not be running the football at the next level.

Mitchell came in as a talented receiver who never really got to maximize his receiving ability in a Virginia Tech offense that, despite his talent, didn't use him as much or well as they should have in the passing game. His blocking also improved throughout his collegiate career and makes him a well-rounded TE who can have a quality NFL career.

Additionally, Mitchell has proven to be a high-quality leader who was a captain for the Hokies and is great for any team looking to build a strong culture or maintain an already healthy one.

TJ Hockenson is the established starting TE for the Lions, but there's plenty of room for Mitchell to come in and compete for the #2 tight end job with veteran Garrett Griffin among the top competition for Mitchell. Of course, his injury recovery could have an impact on his ability to compete though there's plenty of potential for Mitchell to fit in well with the Lions behind Hockenson.

We will have more as this story develops.