USF WR Mitchell looks to be rising fast

TAMPA, Fla. -- Generally, I leave draft evaluations up to guys like our Mel Kiper and Todd McShay because that’s what they do. But I’ll break with the norm here because I’m pretty sure I just saw something significant.

I think I just saw University of South Florida receiver Carlton Mitchell's stock take a pretty strong leap. Mitchell, who is leaving college with a year of eligibility remaining, seemingly has been on the rise since a solid showing at the scouting combine in February. Before the combine, Mitchell had been viewed as a late-round pick.

Lately, there have been some rumblings about him going as early as the third round and even some whispers that he could jump to the second round with a good workout on his pro day. Well, Mitchell just finished his pro day and I’m pretty sure his stock didn’t tumble.

According to several people I know who were holding stopwatches when Mitchell ran his 40-yard dash, his times were very consistent with what he ran at the combine. My sources had Mitchell running anywhere from 4.40 seconds to 4.42 seconds on his first run. They had him anywhere from 4.47 to 4.52 seconds on his second try.

Those are pretty good numbers on the same day Dez Bryant was not putting up great numbers at his workout in Texas. Mitchell also caught the ball very well and at 6-foot-2 and 213 pounds, he’s got the kind of size NFL teams are looking for.

Maybe even some NFC South teams. All four teams had at least one representative there. The Bucs obviously are familiar with Mitchell and they desperately need help at wide receiver. Can’t say the highest brass in Tampa Bay was at this workout because Raheem Morris and Mark Domink were not there. But they easily could do a private workout with Mitchell if they want.

I think Mitchell could be a potential target for the Bucs. But I think Carolina is another potential landing spot for Mitchell. The Panthers obviously need a replacement for Muhsin Muhammad. I always emphasize not paying too much attention to who attends a certain workout or what players teams interview. However, I’ll just throw it out there that Carolina receivers coach Tyke Tolbert was there to watch Mitchell’s workout.