Freddie Mitchell Selected In First Round By Eagles
April 21, 2001
Record-setting flanker Freddie Mitchell has been selected in the first round of the National Football League Draft by the Philadelphia Eagles. He was the 25th player selected in the first round.
Mitchell, who left UCLA following his junior season, is the sixth Bruin to be selected in the first round of the NFL Draft in the last eight years. The others areL 1994 -LB Jamir Miller, 10th, Arizona Cardinals, 1995 - WR J.J. Stokes, 10th, San Francisco 49ers, 1996 - OT Jonathan Ogden, 4th, Baltimore Ravens, 1998 - S Shaun Williams, 24th, New York Giants, 1999 - QB Cade McNown, 12th, Chicago Bears. Ogden and Williams played in the 2001 Super Bowl.
Mitchell enjoyed a record-breaking season in 2000. He was selected first-team All-America by the Walter Camp Football Foundation and The Sporting News and was one of three finalists for the Biletnikoff Award, presented to the best wide receiver in the country. He was also selected first-team All-Pac-10.
The explosive Mitchell, who always seemed to be in the middle of the action, ranked second in the nation with his regular-season average of 119.45 receiving yards per game and with his 1,314 receiving yards. He also ranked 17th in the NCAA and second in the Pac-10 in receptions (6.18 average) and his average of 19.32 yards per catch ranked second nationally among players in the Top 35 in receptions per game. He also ranked second in the Pac-10 in all-purpose yards (119.45) and led the Pac-10 in receiving yardage by over 31 yards per game. His 1,314 regular-season receiving yards also rank No. 4 on the Pacific-10 Conference's all-time list.
On the year, including the Sun Bowl, he led the Bruins with 77 receptions and a new school record 1,494 receiving yards. He was also second on the squad with nine touchdowns. He averaged 39.1 yards on his touchdown receptions and six of the nine measured at least 35 yards. Twenty-seven of his 77 receptions measured at least 20 yards.
In the regular-season finale against USC, he broke Danny Farmer's two-year old record of 1,274 receiving yards and finished the year with 1,494. His 77 receptions rank second on the single-season list, five behind No. 1 J.J. Stokes (82 in 1993) and his 1,493 all-purpose yards rank fifth on that UCLA single-season list.
Here is what Eagle head coach Andy Reid and Director of Football Operations Tom Modrak had to say about Mitchell following the selection:
AR: 'He's got a little bit of everything. He enjoys playing the game. He's got quickness, toughness, the hands and the things that we think are important to play in the offense.'
TM: To echoe Andy's words, he's got excellent hands and great body control. He's one of those guys that knows when to 'cut to the hoop,' knows how to play the game. He's productive, he's confident, which you need to be and he brings a whole lot of talent. I think he's going to be a really productive guy for us.'
On Coach Reid having gone to California to visit with Freddie Mitchell and how important that was:
AR: 'Freddie had a really nice workout at the combine and Tom and the scouts had obviously done their homework and had him up in the top group of receivers. He was the one guy that I didn't have an opportunity to meet at the combine so I just wanted to make sure that I touched base with him. I flew out to Los Angeles, I did not work him out, I just spent the day with him. I felt very comfortable with him.'
On people having mentioned his being 'too flashy' as a concern:
AR: 'I think that the first thing that you'll see is, he loves to play the game and he does that with emotion. He's not afraid to show his emotion but I also think the thing you'll see with him when you deal with him is, he's a good person. He's a legitimate 'tough-guy' on the field and he has so many intangibles that you look for.'