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USA Today Sports Media Group
USA Today Sports Media Group
Adam Stites

Jaguars’ potential 2024 draft targets: CB Quinyon Mitchell

When new Jacksonville Jaguars defensive coordinator Ryan Nielsen was asked how he’ll coach his team to get off the field on third down, he wasn’t as concerned with the team’s pass rushers as he was with the defensive backs.

“We’ve got a couple of good edge guys here,” Nielsen told reporters. “If the coverage has holes in it or give an easy throw, it doesn’t matter who we’ve got coming off the edge. … We have to get the quarterback to hold it.”

On one side, the Jaguars have Tyson Campbell, a 2021 second-round pick who put together a stellar second season before injuries slowed him down in 2023. On the other is Darious Williams, an undersized but wily veteran who put together a career best year at age 30.

But there’s a chance Williams has played his last game in Jacksonville with the Jaguars able to recoup $11 million in cap space by releasing the veteran.

Either way, the Jaguars need to shore up their coverage after finishing 26th in the NFL in passing yards allowed. Adding a top cornerback prospect like Toledo’s Quinyon Mitchell could be a great place to start:


At 6’0, 195 pounds, Mitchell is solidly built enough to play in any scheme and his 4.3 speed makes him one of the more impressive athletes of the draft class (he even earned a spot on Bruce Feldman’s annual “freaks” list). Mitchell showed off those skills at the Senior Bowl where he was a nightmare for just about every receiver to line up across from him.

Mitchell is a smooth operator with great instincts for the position. He seemingly recognizes routes before they happen, locates the ball, and keeps plays in front of him.


Adam Cairns-The Columbus Dispatch

The level of competition Mitchell faced at Toledo jumps out as something to consider when the rest of the cornerback class is headlined by prospects from Alabama, Clemson, Iowa, and Missouri. While he faced C.J. Stroud and Marvin Harrison Jr. when Toledo visited Oho State, he was on the wrong side of a touchdown in that 77-21 loss. It’s also the reason Mitchell wasn’t tested much as a junior.

Otherwise, negatives are few and far between, and limited to nitpicking his consistency and/or areas where he could refine his technique.

Game to watch: Toledo @ Northern Illinois (Oct. 8, 2022)

Mitchell usually wasn’t tested much, because opposing teams were wise enough to try another way to score against Toledo. The NIU Huskies were a perfect example why it was dangerous to try Mitchell.

The then-sophomore cornerback had not one, not two, not three, but FOUR interceptions against NIU. He took two of them back for touchdowns, leading the way in a 52-32 Toledo win.

Stats to know

According to Bruce Feldman, “Mitchell bench-pressed 225 pounds 21 times, squatted 44 and had a top speed of 23.58 MPH on the GPS this summer. He also ran in the 40 in the 4.3s twice for NFL scouts this spring.”

On the field, Mitchell was credited by PFF with allowing only 27 receptions and zero touchdowns in the 62 times he was targeted in 2023. His 91.6 grade in coverage was No. 1 among all FBS cornerbacks who were on the field for at least 250 snaps last season.

Why he could be the pick

It’s pretty simple: the Jaguars need a starting quality cornerback and they need one with Mitchell’s skills and attributes.

Regardless what Jacksonville decides to do with Darious Williams this offseason, the veteran is turning 31 soon and the depth behind him (Montaric Brown, Christian Braswell, Gregory Junior) are young players who are mostly untested.

Cornerback is a premium position where talent often drops off hard from the early round prospects. If the Jaguars plan to prioritize the position at all, the No. 17 overall pick is very much in play and Mitchell seems to fit the bill.

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