By Matthew Postins
Meet Terrance Mitchell, the Cowboys’ Seventh-Round Pick
The Dallas Cowboys selected Oregon cornerback Terrance Mitchell with their seventh-round (No. 254 overall) selection on Saturday afternoon. Find out more about him below:
Height, Weight: 5-foot-11, 192 pounds
Rankings: CBSSports.com ranks Mitchell as the No. 127 overall prospect and the No. 18 draft prospect at cornerback. CBSSports.com graded him a fourth-round pick.
The skinny: On his back, Terrance Mitchell has a tattoo of the cartoon character “Underdog.” The image represents the mentality Mitchell says fueled his rise from three-star prospect out of high school, to freshman starter at Oregon, to honorable mention all-Pac-12 status as a sophomore. It will fuel him now, too, as Mitchell prepares for the 2014 NFL draft, having opted to pass up his final season of eligibility with the Ducks. Mitchell, a junior from Sacramento, Calif., knows he’s less heralded than some other members of his draft class. That’s just another challenge the “Underdog” intends to overcome. “Growing up always being under the radar, coming to Oregon as a three-star and then showing what I can do, that’s what my whole life has been,” Mitchell said Thursday evening. “I’m prepared for that. All I know is, when I sit down in front of the scouts, at the combine and what not, they’re going to see.”Mitchell arrived in Eugene from Sacramento, Calif., in the spring of 2010, redshirted that fall and proceeded to start 38 of 40 games over the next three seasons. He led the Ducks with five interceptions and 12 passes defended in 2013, giving him seven career interceptions and 32 passes defended. “I had a great four years there,” Mitchell said. “I just want to further my career at the next level, which is a dream of mine.
What Cowboys are getting: A player who was productive in college and knows how to pick off the pass, as he had five interceptions in 2013. Scouts like his instincts, his ability to read quarterbacks and his ability to bait them into making bad throws. They’re not wild about his inconsistency nor his overall speed, saying that while’s his quick in short spaces he lacks the ability to maintain that speed in downfield coverage. His 40 time was 4.59, which is certainly not elite for the position.
Postins’ Take: I feel like the Cowboys received a value here. CBSSports.com had Mitchell rated as a fourth-round pick and his overall ranking, No., 127, suggests that he’s actually not too far away from being a starter-level player. He comes to a situation in which he won’t be asked to contribute right away in the secondary, as the Cowboys have Brandon Carr, Morris Claiborne and Orlando Scandrick, along with last year’s fourth-round pick, B.W. Webb. But he could be a steady special teams contributor and, by midseason, be of use in nickel and dime coverage if he shows he can quickly adjust to NFL-level competition.
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