Breylin Mitchell is already considered to be one of the top defensive ends in the state for 2015, so I went in expecting to see big things out of the 6-foot-4, 250-pound edge rusher. And for the most part, I wasn't disappointed with the Texas target. In what could be a solid class at defensive end, Mitchell stands out because of his size, aggressiveness and motor, as well as the fact that he's a true three-down end, somebody who excels against the run and the pass.
Some guys who are that size appear to be long and lean, while others are more developed, and Mitchell would have to fall into the latter category, with nice thickness and muscle definition. He appears to be a defensive end all the way — I couldn't see somebody throwing, for instance, 40 more pounds of good weight on him. But 10-15 would certainly be doable.
I was a bit disappointed that I didn't get to see Mitchell in a wide nine technique just to see what he could do when he pinned his ears back and came after the passer. And much of what Round Rock does offensively starts with some sort of motion or play-action, meaning Mitchell's role was more one of reading, then shedding blocks and trying to make plays. And he was outstanding there, showing outstanding strength and drive at the point of attack, then the ability to find the ball, get rid of his blocker and close quickly.
Mitchell didn't display elite get-off at this point … I wasn't surprised to hear from him after the practice that he wanted to work more on his speed. But his top end was pretty impressive. He ran a couple plays down from behind, which makes me think that once he works on his start, he'll start clocking faster than the 4.9 40-yard dash he's been running. Even without elite get-off, and even though he was working against some outstanding offensive linemen at Round Rock — both offensive tackles are likely D1 prospects* — Mitchell showed a great ability to create push, often driving his man back into the backfield, and at times while working against two players.
Of course, anyone who watches Mitchell for five minutes notices that two of his greatest strengths are his aggression and his motor. He doesn't take plays off … even when you could tell that he was fatigued after being out for several plays in the heat, he was still bringing it on every play, which included pursuing the ball-carrier downfield if he was able to break the line of scrimmage. It was impressive to watch. As for his aggression, Mitchell pops with his hands to help create space. He could stand to add a few more moves to the repertoire, but the hand strength and the aggression level are both there.
Because of the motor, his excellent size and strength and his developing athleticism and pass-rush moves, Mitchell projects as a Texas-type prospect in the 2015 class, somebody who should have a bushel of offers by the time that he is finished. And with a fairly wide-open 2015 class, and Mitchell's work ethic, don't be surprised if he pushes to the front of the group.