Mitchell a sleeper at defensive end?
Among the half-dozen or so very legitimate prospects competing for playing time at defensive end is second-year pro Jayme Mitchell, an undrafted rookie free agent last season.
Mitchell beat the odds to make the 53-man roster as a rookie, despite being one of the lesser-known undrafted rookies signed by the team following the draft a year ago. Yet he showed promise early on, registering three sacks in spot duty as he saw action in 13 games.
Mitchell has had a good offseason, working very hard with head trainer Tom Kanavy to improve his strength, quickness and overall conditioning. The results of that hard work have shown up in flashes during training camp early on.
“I saw Jayme Mitchell make a nice rush today and be able to tap the football out of his hand, the quarterback's hand, and I thought the quarterback did a good job of passing up,” Childress said.
Childress went on to make a pretty generous comparison of Mitchell’s ability to a highly productive veteran pass rusher.
“You guys all remember Simeon Rice,” Childress said. “Jayme has that long arm and sometimes as you are coming around the edge, those long arms really lend themselves to the quarterback thinking he is safe but all it takes is a little tap on that ball and you've got something.”
Mitchell has emerged as a promising young player to keep an eye on as the level of competition continues to increase as we draw closer to the beginning of the regular season.