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Colts selecting WR Adonai Mitchell named ‘favorite pick’ by ESPN analyst

The Indianapolis Colts selecting Texas wide receiver Adonai Mitchell at 52nd overall was picked by Aaron Schatz as his favorite selection in the entire 2024 NFL draft.

In a recent article, ESPN insiders and analysts were asked a series of questions about how the draft unfolded. When it came to choosing their favorite selection, here is why Schatz chose Mitchell:

Wide receiver Adonai Mitchell to the Indianapolis Colts at No. 52. Analytics suggest there is no such thing as a “draft steal” because prospects drop from consensus for good reasons. That being said, Mitchell might have dropped due to off-field concerns, and Colts GM Chris Ballard spoke out against that. This was the No. 5 wide receiver in Playmaker Score but the No. 11 receiver off the board.”

Wide receivers Marvin Harrison Jr., Rome Odunze, and Malik Nabers were in a tier of their own, but in a loaded wide receiver class, many draft analysts had Mitchell as the first or second receiver in that second tier. It was almost assumed that he was going to be a first-round selection.

In a recent exercise to find which selections provided the Colts with the most ‘value,’ I compared each player’s draft position to their ranking on the consensus big board. At +23, with a consensus ranking of 29th and being taken at 52nd overall, Mitchell was the best value selection for the Colts by those metrics.

On top of that, before taking Mitchell, the Colts traded back with Carolina, gaining two fifth-round picks in the process.

The Colts were very much in need of a playmaking presence at the receiver position, and Mitchell certainly provides that. Last season at Texas, Mitchell averaged 15.4 yards per catch with 11 touchdowns.

He also comes to the NFL with plenty of big game experience, playing in the College Football Playoffs in all three of his collegiate seasons, where he totaled 19 receptions at almost 16.0 yards per catch with six scores.

With 4.34 speed, Mitchell can provide that vertical presence that the Shane Steichen offense requires. However, with his route-running abilities, Mitchell is someone who can make an impact at all levels of the field and win in a variety of ways.

“I think for us, he’s going to be pretty versatile as he was at Texas,” said Colts’ area scout Anthony Coughlan. “He is a guy that can be a deep threat. He can run intermediate routes. This is a big dude. He’s 205 pounds, running 4.38. So it’s a multi-dimensional threat and he’s a good route runner. He’s not just a deep ball, 50/50, that’s it. He can run routes, too. So, I think he can threaten multiple levels. We’re extremely excited to get his talent here.”

Mitchell has the potential to develop into a true No. 1 target in the passing game. Having that kind of presence on the field will create opportunities for others within the offense, such as Michael Pittman and Josh Downs, with the attention that Mitchell draws and the spacing he can create.

Story originally appeared on Colts Wire