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Saturday, May 9, 2009
Raiders' Mitchell ditches motivational plan

By Bill Williamson
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

ALAMEDA, Calif. -- Michael Mitchell has scrapped his Mel Kiper Jr. motivation plan.

The day after the Raiders shocked the league by taking Mitchell in the second round, the safety from Ohio University said he would hang a picture of the ESPN draft analyst in his Oakland locker for motivation.

Friday, after his first minicamp practice, Mitchell changed his tune.

"I was going to do it," Mitchell said. "But I changed my mind. I'm not going to put his picture up. That story is dead and I'm moving on."

Still, while Mitchell chooses not to remind himself of his draft-day experience, others surely will. Kiper was among those who sharply criticized Oakland for taking Mitchell so early. He said he had Mitchell listed as an undrafted free agent. I have since spoken to four teams that said Mitchell was a free agent on their board.

It doesn't matter because Oakland liked Mitchell. He has great measurables and he was known as a ferocious hitter in college.

Mitchell couldn't show all his wares in the minicamp because the Raiders didn't wear pads.
Mitchell said the post-draft support he has received from Oakland fans has helped him in the transition. He said his Facebook account has been flooded by well wishers from the Raider Nation.

"They've been great," Mitchell said.