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Most underrated player in NFL Draft is ‘dominant’ defender who will be a steal

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Most underrated player in NFL Draft is ‘dominant’ defender who will be a steal

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There is always someone in the NFL Draft who shocks devoted football fans.

Someone who is selected several picks before they were supposed to be off the board.

There is always a first-round sleeper who stuns NFL fans and goes off the board faster than expected

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There is always a first-round sleeper who stuns NFL fans and goes off the board faster than expectedCredit: Getty

Someone who goes overlooked for months and is constantly underrated, then suddenly hears their name called out live on ESPN, ABC and NFL Network at the same time, followed by a huge hug from commissioner Roger Goodell.

In the 2024 NFL Draft, that someone could be a small-college defender from a school that has only produced one previous first-round pick in history.

According to ESPN NFL Draft analyst Matt Miller, a senior defensive back from a college team that plays in the Mid-American Conference is being overlooked and undervauled less than a month before the clock starts ticking in the first round on April 25 in Detroit.

The most underrated player in the draft is …

“I’ll say Quinyon Mitchell, the corner from Toledo,” Miller exclusively told talkSPORT. “I know that’s not a Power Five school, and I think that’s why he’s been so overlooked.

“But he’s had such a dominant process. The Senior Bowl, he was the best player at the Senior Bowl. He comes to the Combine at 200 pounds and runs a 4.33 in the 40-yard dash, and then the next morning does 20 bench press reps at 225 pounds, while having a great positional workout.”

Mitchell’s name might not be widely known, but he’s clearly generating first-round interest.

The 6ft 195lb corner was listed as going at No. 17 overall to the Jacksonville Jaguars in Miller’s latest mock draft.

Quinyon Mitchell was a big hit at the NFL Scouting Combine and his draft stock is rising

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Quinyon Mitchell was a big hit at the NFL Scouting Combine and his draft stock is risingCredit: Getty
Mitchell played his college ball at Toledo, which doesn't have the big name of SEC and Big Ten schools

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Mitchell played his college ball at Toledo, which doesn’t have the big name of SEC and Big Ten schoolsCredit: Getty

The Indianapolis Colts, Seattle Seahawks, Cincinnati Bengals, New Orleans Saints and Las Vegas Raiders all could be looking at Mitchell on their draft boards.

His Scouting Combine numbers were better than a No. 17 selection, with the former Toledo star earning serious praise by the league’s official site.

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“Mitchell possesses a gumbo of traits, with size, strength and speed filling up the pot,” NFL.com posted. “He’s built like a running back, tackles like a safety and has the ball skills of a cornerback.”

Miller was wowed by Mitchell during his workouts, saying that the former Rocket “checked all the boxes.”

Toledo went 11-3 last season and played in a bowl game, while Mitchell finished his four-year college career with 123 combined tackles, six interceptions and 45 passes defensed.

“When I run through a scouting report on a player, it’s, ‘Oh, did he do this, did he do that?’ Miller said. “He’s done it all and he’s done it all at a really high level.

“Don’t be shocked if he’s the first corner selected this year. But, again, we’re talking about a player that hasn’t had that hype of the Alabama guy or the Clemson guys.

“It’s Toledo. I think they’ve only had one other first-round pick ever. And he will be a first-round pick.”

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