At 23 years old, Malcolm Mitchell has experienced hardships that many would not see from a first glance. As a talented high school football player in Valdosta, Georgia, the prospect of going to the University of Georgia in Athens and play football for the Bulldogs was always a dream.
When Mitchell was offered a scholarship to play football at UGA, it was a no-brainer. In his freshman season with the Bulldogs, Mitchell was able to haul in 45 receptions for 665 yards and four touchdowns, all while missing three games with a hamstring injury. In his second season with Georgia, Mitchell saw a dip in production, snagging 40 catches for 572 yards, but also played on the defensive side of the football as a defensive back until the fourth game of the season.
Then everything changed for Mitchell. In the first quarter of the first game of the 2013 season, Mitchell tore his ACL and missed the entire season. At this time, Mitchell became more than just a football player. Mitchell was always able to read, but not at a collegiate level. Mitchell said that when he was resting and rehabbing his knee, he was reading all the time.
At this time, it became apparent that Mitchell wanted to show the power of reading and education. Mitchell started working on a children's book entitled The Magician's Hat, which was released in 2016. Throughout his collegiate career, Mitchell won numerous community and leadership awards and was selected by the New England Patriots in the fourth round, pick 112 overall.
While Mitchell has played a good amount more than halfway through his rookie season, he has really turned it on in these past two weeks. Last week against the San Francisco 49ers, Mitchell had four receptions for 98 yards and was able to get his first professional touchdown. This past week against the New York Jets, Mitchell became an even bigger target for Tom Brady, catching five passes for 42 yards and two touchdowns.
Mitchell's recent emergence has done nothing but help this Patriots team. While Mitchell is not your typical vertical threat, he plays bigger than his 6-foot-1 frame would have you believe because of his strength and separation skills. Mitchell is a solid player and can only progress as he continues to gain reps in this Patriots offense. While Mitchell only has 17 receptions for 233 yards so far this season, expect a big last quarter out of the UGA product.