What does Max Mitchell bring to the New York Jets?
It was fair to anticipate an offensive tackle being added by the Jets at some point in the draft. The team lost a key 16-game starter from a year ago in Morgan Moses. While George Fant and Mekhi Becton are in place as good starters, both are coming off an injury. Not to mention, the depth behind Fant and Becton was a concern before the selection of Mitchell.
Here are some of the most important things for Jets fans to know about Mitchell.
Pre-draft measurables and production
Mitchell provides a solid all-around frame for a tackle. He is 6-foot-6, 307 pounds, and has 33 1/2″ arms.
His Relative Athletic Score (RAS) of 5.55 is a bit low. The best few areas of Mitchell’s athletic testing were his 10-yard split (1.78), 20-yard shuttle (4.65), and broad jump (106″).
Strength is a component of Mitchell’s game that can improve which was shown by his low bench press of 21 reps. He also struggled in the three-cone (8.09) and the vertical jump (25″).
Per PFF, from the 2019-21 seasons, Mitchell accumulated 2,322 snaps in 37 games played. Mitchell predominately played at right tackle over the last three years (1,799 snaps). The 2019 season was the year he played the most at left tackle as he totaled 314 snaps.
Mitchell earned an impressive grade of 94.8 for the 2021 season from PFF, the best of any FBS tackle.
Despite the low RAS, Mitchell does show some athletic ability on film. He is known for moving fast off the snap and he plays with good quickness as both a run and pass blocker.
Very impressive reach block from Max Mitchell pic.twitter.com/j5yeVpS3s2
— #Trade13 (@Zach2Elijah) May 3, 2022
Mitchell attained success in college as a run blocker. In zone running schemes, Mitchell is a fluid lateral mover. He can get up to the second-level and make an impact. On top of it all, he will play physical.
Nice combo block by Max Mitchell (RT) here:
-Steps down and gets hip to hip with OG
-Gets his hands on the DT's side and helps OG kick DT inside
-Redirects & gets a hat on a hat against the LB to help spring the RB for a first pic.twitter.com/ReXRuFFmIL
— Matt Holder (@MHolder95) April 12, 2022
Mitchell is touted for his toughness and effort at all times. He will play aggressive and finish blocks off consistently. Mitchell has also been highlighted for the intelligence he plays with.
Max Mitchell is a natural pass protector. Look at how quickly his eyes move to find work on the start this rep pic.twitter.com/5omwY2yGxI
— #Trade13 (@Zach2Elijah) May 3, 2022
As a pass blocker, Mitchell wins with hand savvy and sound pass sets. He can succeed against speed on the outside with his sudden quickness off the ball.
Where Mitchell can improve in the passing game is against power. Adding overall strength will be important to his development against power rushers.
Future Jets teammate Jermaine Johnson exposed some of Mitchell’s flaws at the Senior Bowl.
Jermaine Johnson has been the best player at the Senior Bowl. Utterly dominant. But Max Mitchell has to be disappointed here. Feet aren’t set and lack of strength. #SeniorBowl #NFLDraft pic.twitter.com/21YBgSJG2E
— Owain Jones (@Owain_Jones_) February 3, 2022
FSU EDGE Jermaine Johnson with the wicked spin move against Louisiana OT Max Mitchell
— Kevin Knight (@FalcoholicKevin) February 2, 2022
With Fant and Becton set as the two starting tackles, Mitchell can be eased in and develop early on as a rookie. He has the talent and college success to be relied on as a swing tackle if needed this year.
Mitchell could potentially offer interior versatility. However, Alijah Vera-Tucker, Laken Tomlinson, and Connor McGovern are locked in as the three starters. Recently, the interior depth was improved with Nate Herbig who will join Dan Feeney as reserves. This allows Mitchell to focus on his development at tackle in year one.
Mitchell is still 22 years old and has room for growth that can take him to a greater level. If Mitchell can improve his play strength it would go a long way toward fulfilling his potential.
With continued refinement, Mitchell has the opportunity to be a contributing starter. Knowing his possible positional flexibility, he can be counted on to provide depth at multiple positions across the line down the road, which will be especially useful if Fant and Becton are both around for the long term.
Mitchell has been credited for his leadership and work ethic. Billy Napier, Mitchell’s college head coach spoke highly of him stating, “He’s worked hard in the weight room, he’s worked hard at nutrition.”
Napier also highlighted Mitchell’s IQ when discussing his experience at guard and tackle.
“To have the intelligence to do that and certainly the unselfish approach and character to do that is impressive,” Napier said.
Although he was not a team captain, Mitchell seems to possess all of the leadership qualities Joe Douglas has prioritized in his draft picks.
The Jets got good value by adding Mitchell in the fourth round. Most outlets projected Mitchell to be taken right around where the Jets ended up taking him. Mitchell should come in right away and provide an upgrade to the depth at offensive tackle.
If Mitchell can get bigger and improve his anchor to make progress against bull rushers, he can be a good starting tackle. He has proven to be efficient when competing against speed rushes, and as a run-blocker, he fits Mike LaFleur’s scheme seamlessly.
Overall, the quickness, athleticism, toughness, and character of Mitchell give him a strong chance to be a good player for the Jets.