Terrance Mitchell, cornerback for the Kansas City Chiefs, has been around the NFL since 2014. During his career, Mitchell has made very little headlines, until now. In what could be considered one of the best games of his time in the NFL, Mitchell led the Chiefs’ defense with 2 interceptions and 9 tackles in a 24-10 victory of the Los Angeles Chargers. Let’s take a deeper look at who Terrance Mitchell is, and where he what led to his career game this past week.
High School & College Career
Mitchell grew up in Sacramento, California and went to Luther Burbank High School. There, he played cornerback and running back. Being a two-way player, Mitchell was All-Metro MVP on offense totaling over 2,300 all-purpose yards and earned All-Metro honors on defense. While in high school, he also lettered in basketball. He was a 3-star recruit and the No. 33 ranked cornerback heading into college in 2010.
Mitchell received a scholarship to play at the University of Oregon. In his freshman season, he had 45 tackles, 10 pass defenses, 2 interceptions and 3 forced fumbles, good for sixth in the Pac-12. After another solid year as a sophomore, Mitchell led the team in interceptions his junior year with five picks. In January 2014, he announced that he would be skipping his senior year to enter the NFL Draft. Mitchell finished his college career starting 38 of 40 games and had 144 tackles, 7 picks and 25 passes defensed, which was 10th all-time in school history.
He was invited to the NFL Combine and he put on a good performance. He posted a 4.63 40-yard dash time. His time was the best for all cornerbacks attending in the three-cone drill and 20-yard shuttle at 6.57 and 4.0 seconds respectively. At the Oregon pro day, Mitchell improved his 40-time to 4.52 seconds.
Scouts and draft predictions had Mitchell going somewhere between the third and fifth rounds. His strengths included good length and that he was well proportioned. He good hand-eye coordination and had a great ability to read and react to break on thrown balls. He had a gambler’s mentality that allowed him to make several big plays. Mitchell had things he needed to work on to be efficient at the NFL level as well. He lacked elite speed and had average physicality. He needed to work on jamming receivers off the line and not drawing too many flags.
During the 2014 NFL Draft, Mitchell waited for his name to get called during his projected rounds to no avail. He fell to the seventh round with the third to last pick by the Dallas Cowboys. He ultimately fell in the draft as a result of his lack of top-end speed most see necessary to be a successful NFL cornerback.
As a rookie for the Cowboys, Mitchell was ineligible to take part in organized team activities until his classes at the University of Oregon finished. Even with that missed time during the offseason, coaches noticed his drive and ability to make plays, but he still had a lackluster preseason. Without any big contribution, Mitchell was released by the Cowboys in August 2014. He had a chance to sign with the Dallas practice squad but chose to sign with the Chicago Bears instead.
The following year, Mitchell had a much better preseason and was given an opportunity on the main roster for the Bears, beating out fellow corner Tim Jennings. He suffered a hamstring injury in week 5, and later was released to make room for another player. Mitchell finished the 2015 season back with the Cowboys and had 12 tackles, 1 sack and 1 interception.
After being claimed and released by the Houston Texans, Mitchell signed with the Kansas City Chiefs practice squad in 2016. He played in seven games for the Chiefs last season and had 19 tackles and six pass defenses. Mitchell came into 2017 as the starting cornerback for the Chiefs because of an injury to Steven Nelson. In three games this season, his stat line reads an impressive 18 total tackles, 6 passes defensed and 2 picks. Mitchell will be a big part of the Chiefs’ defense opposite Marcus Peters and will try to continue the great start he already has to the season.