Malcolm Mitchell, Georgia’s rising junior with superstar ability, hasn’t even played a full season at wide receiver yet, but he’s one of the most potent deep-threats in the country.
Mitchell burst onto the scene as a freshman, catching 45 passes for 665 yards and four touchdowns. Despite Tavarres King finishing with more receiving yards in 2011, Mitchell was the team’s most potent offensive player, though he missed three games and was continually hampered by a hamstring injury.
Leading up to 2012, Mitchell shared double duty as a receiver and defensive back, mostly due to the suspensions suffered on the Bulldogs’ defense. He played his first four games as a corner and then swapped over to the offense after the suspended players made their way back to the starting rotation.
Mitchell caught 40 passes for 572 yards and four touchdowns, decreasing his production from year one to two. The offense overall was much better, and Aaron Murray had more receivers at his disposal than at any other time in his career. Six different receivers caught 20 or more passes.
Mitchell starting out at corner hurt his receiving production and development. But looking ahead to his junior season, Mitchell can focus solely on getting better as a receiver, via Macon Telegraph.
“If you look at it how I’ve been doing since I got here, I’ve really only had freshman year to be at receiver,” he said. “So this is a chance for me to make a big jump.
“I think I can become a lot better, just off of some of the things that happened to me last year, that didn’t go my way, now I’m learning how to make sure things do go my way.”
Now that Tavarres King is out of the equation, Mitchell jumps to the top of the receiving weapons as the one pass catcher who has the most big-play ability.
Murray will have Mitchell, Michael Bennett, Chris Conley and Rantavious Wooten, among others, at his provision. And all of them are different in their strengths, but there’s little denying Mitchell is the one player who must touch it 10-12 times per game.
Mitchell possesses all the elite ability that Tennessee’s do-it-all receiver Cordarrelle Patterson had. I look for Mark Richt and Mike Bobo to get Mitchell much more involved in the passing game, while running several reverses and end-arounds next season to make the rushing attack more diverse.
Mitchell is electric in the open field, and he’ll become Georgia’s biggest receiving threat and one of the SEC’s biggest X-factors in 2013.
Photo Credit: Kevin Liles-USA TODAY Sports