NFC South: Carlton Mitchell

Buccaneers make roster moves

August, 26, 2013
With rosters required to be down to 75 players by Tuesday afternoon, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers began the process Monday.

Cornerback Anthony Gaitor (torn ACL) and running back Michael Smith (foot) were placed on injured reserve.

The team waived receiver Carlton Mitchell, defensive end Ernest Owusu, quarterback Adam Weber and defensive end Markus White. The Bucs also released receiver Derek Hagan, fullback Spencer Larsen and safety Troy Nolan.

The Bucs also announced they have signed tight end Mike Shanahan (not to be confused with the coach of the Washington Redskins). Shanahan played at the University of Pittsburgh and was in training camp with the New York Jets earlier this summer.

NFC South mailbag

May, 5, 2010
JM in Charlotte writes: So, let's say that Carolina carries three QBs on their regular season roster. We can expect that Matt Moore and Jimmy Clausen (in whatever order) will be first and second string...who do you think would be the third string?

Pat Yasinskas: That’s going to be an interesting battle in training camp between draft pick Tony Pike and Hunter Cantwell, who spent much of last season on the practice squad. I watched both in minicamp over the weekend and Pike and Cantwell throw pretty well. My guess is the Panthers would like to keep one of them on the roster and put the other on the practice squad. Training camp will decide who has the upper hand, but it might be easier to cut Cantwell and bring him back to the practice squad. Pike’s a draft pick and there are some other teams out there that liked him and they could grab him if he is released.

Patrick in Atlanta writes: Are you going to Falcons minicamp?

Pat Yasinskas: Yes, I am. In fact, I’m multitasking right now -- working on my laundry and this mailbag. Looking forward to heading up to Flowery Branch and seeing the Falcons. Actually driving up this time just to put a little variety in my life. Sometimes, I get a little tired of getting on planes and this should be a nice time of the year to see Georgia and Northern Florida.

Bill in Laplace, La., writes: My question to you is, how can anybody take the ex security director for the Saints seriously? He tries to get money from the Saints to not file a suit, then, when rebuffed, files a civil suit. Seems to me, he would have a lot more credibility if he would have reported this immediately to the proper authorities without wanting money. Your thoughts?

Pat Yasinskas: I’m staying in the middle of the road on this one right now and don’t have any real opinion yet. Quite simply, I don’t feel like I know enough, based on the limited information that’s come out on this so far. I’m going to wait and see if there are more details coming through the legal system or from law enforcement before forming any real opinion.

Kyle in Bossier City, La., writes: Darren Sharper’s signing has answered one question. The next question that comes to my mind is how many of these DBs, or "embarrassment of riches" as you have so adequately described them, will the Saints realistically be able to keep do to regular season roster restrictions?

Pat Yasinskas: The Saints are as loaded at defensive back as any team I’ve ever seen. With Jabari Greer, Tracy Porter, Malcolm Jenkins, Patrick Robinson and Randall Gay, I see five cornerbacks who are capable of starting. Jenkins could switch over to free safety and compete with Sharper, who is coming off knee surgery and Roman Harper’s a solid strong safety. The Saints also have Usama Young, who is a quality backup, Chip Vaughn is coming back after missing his rookie season with an injury and there are a few other young defensive backs with promise. The Saints probably will carry 10 defensive backs in the regular season. There will be some tough calls to make, but this is a nice problem to have. The little “slump’’ the Saints had last season was when Porter, Greer and Sharper were banged-up. The Saints weathered that storm and they’ve positioned themselves to weather just about any injury in the defensive backfield.

Ben in Tampa writes: What happened to USF receiver Carlton Mitchell? You said in a previous post that his pro day went so well you had him as a possible 2nd round draft pick. He didn't even get drafted, what happened?

Pat Yasinskas: Actually, he did get drafted. But it wasn’t until the sixth round by Cleveland. That surprised me because I thought Mitchell would go much earlier. He’s a guy with good size and speed and he looked very good in his workouts. I think the apprehension came because Mitchell came out of school early and might not be real polished. But I think he’s someone who could develop into a solid receiver.

Jonathan in Fort Mill, S.C., writes: The rumors coming out of the mini-camp is that Armanti Edwards electrified the coaches with his abilities. After Marty Hurney took so much heat for trading next year's 2nd round pick, (I know it’s early) but is Armanti Edwards the real deal?

Pat Yasinskas: “Rumors’’ might not be accurate. I think it’s fair to say Edwards was, in fact, electrifying in his first minicamp. The coaches saw and I saw it (along with the other media) on the sideline. It was a very promising start. But let’s keep it in perspective for now. This was only one minicamp. Also, I think it’s key that John Fox abandons his conservative nature and lets offensive coordinator Jeff Davidson be creative with Edwards.

Some fun draft facts

April, 20, 2010
This is the time of year when the fine folks in the NFL’s public relations department really earn their pay.

Thanks to them, my wake-up call this morning came from a FedEx driver, who delivered a package with bios on just about every draft prospect you can imagine. They’re also sending out a steady stream of draft-related e-mails. Some of them are very lengthy, but you can find some really interesting stuff if you take the time to sort through them.

One of my favorites is the little “fun facts’’ section that came in an e-mail just a bit ago. I don’t have space to share them all with you, so I picked out five that I thought were pretty interesting:

  • Tennessee safety Eric Berry studied dentistry at Tennessee and interned at a Georgia dentist office this past summer.
  • South Florida wide receiver Carlton Mitchell’s mother, Angela, is the “cut man’’ for professional boxer Antonio Tarver.
  • Oklahoma’s Sam Bradford, Gerald McCoy and Trent Williams will be in New York for the draft. It will be the first time three players from the same school have been present since Penn State’s Ki-Jana Carter, Kerry Collins and Kyle Brady were there in 1995.
  • Speaking of Oklahoma, the Sooners have had a great program, but they’re not known for producing quarterbacks. Although Bradford is likely to change things, you want to take a guess who’s the last Oklahoma quarterback to throw an NFL pass? Jack Jacobs for the Green Bay Packers back in 1949. Before you start filling up the mailbag saying that’s not correct, Troy Aikman doesn’t count. Yes, he spent two years at Oklahoma, but he transferred to UCLA and that’s where he earned his way to the NFL.
  • Penn State defensive tackle Jared Odrick has invited his college defensive line coach Larry Johnson Sr. to wait with him in the “green room’’ during the draft. Johnson also is the father of NFL running back Larry Johnson Jr.

NFC South mailbag

April, 4, 2010
Time for an Easter edition of the NFC South mailbag. Happy holiday to all.

JC in Salina, Utah, writes: Reports say that Washington really loves Sam Bradford? If the Rams pass him up do you think it’s possible for Tampa to draft him and trade him to Washington for a very unhappy Albert Haynesworth? Tampa has the cap space and the obvious need of dominant DT.

Pat Yasinskas: First off, there is no salary cap this season. But I do see some logic to your scenario. If the Rams pass on Bradford, that probably means the first two picks in the draft will be used on defensive tackles. That would leave the Bucs in a tough spot. In that scenario, I could see them trying to trade down until a good bit later in the first round. Would they trade down one spot for Haynesworth? I’m not so sure. Remember, the Bucs tried very hard to sign Haynesworth as a free agent last year. Although they reportedly offered more money than the Redskins, Haynesworth turned them down. He made some comments about there being too many distractions in Tampa for his liking. If he’s unhappy in Washington, he might be even more unhappy in Tampa.

Will in New Orleans writes: The Saints have looked at a couple of free agents in their quest to replace Mike Bell, any idea who they might look to in the draft to fill his spot? Bell took more carries than any other Saints back last year and Sean Payton never goes into training camp without a lot of depth at running back so even if Lynell Hamilton's the guy, Payton's going to want another running back.

Pat Yasinskas: I agree. The Saints aren’t done at running back and they’ve sniffed around some free agents. I could see them using a mid-round draft pick on a running back. But I also think there’s a good chance you’ll see them sign a running back that gets cut from someone else’s roster. Remember, the Saints are limited in signing unrestricted free agents because of the Final Eight plan. But they can sign someone that’s been cut from another roster.

Jonathan in Montreal, Canada, writes: I'm curious about local product Carlton Mitchell from South Florida. I know that you went to the USF pro day, and I'm curious to know what you think about him (he's a freakish athlete, fast 40-time, big frame), and maybe the Bucs potentially drafting him early in the 3rd round?

Pat Yasinskas: Mitchell really impressed me at pro day. Kind of strange that I didn’t know a lot about him even though the USF campus is almost literally in my backyard. But with the Bucs struggling so much last year, I had to travel just about every Saturday and didn’t get to watch much of USF. Anyway, Mitchell is all the things you mentioned and more. He’s also a high-character guy. I think Mitchell’s workout probably has pushed him into the second round. The Bucs have two picks there and I think he’s a possibility. I think he also could be a possibility for Carolina.

Jeff in Charleston, S.C., writes: What is your take on LT Sam Baker? From what I've seen, he can be solid one game, then the next whiff on multiple blocks, or worse get injured. Is Thomas Dimitroff sold on him as the answer for protecting Matt Ryan's blindside for the next decade?

Pat Yasinskas: The Falcons have a lot invested in Baker. Has he shown he’s a franchise left tackle? No. Injuries have set him back and you have to worry if he’ll be injury prone for the rest of his career. But he’s done some good things when healthy and I don’t think the Falcons are anywhere near ready to give up on him. They’ll continue to try to coach him up and hope he can stay healthy for a full season.

Jordan in New Orleans writes: My question is about recently released Alex Brown. I know you addressed a question about him going to the Panthers in your last mailbag, but what about him coming down to play for the black and gold? Obviously, even before Charles Grant was released DE was thought by most as a position of need. Brown's a proven player, who just happened to be on the wrong end of the Julius Peppers bonanza. I think he would be perfect for the Saints and would save us from using a high draft pick on a DE. What's your take?

Pat Yasinskas: Definitely keep an eye on this one. I suspect the Saints and Panthers will show some interest in Brown. A lot of Atlanta fans have asked about him, too, but I’ve heard no rumblings about the Falcons being interested. I like your logic on the Saints. Brown wouldn’t be terribly expensive, he’s probably an upgrade over Grant and getting him would allow the Saints to focus on other areas in the draft.

NFC South mailbag

March, 31, 2010
Abe in Hartford, Conn., writes: I just saw that Jason Elam signed a one day contract with Denver so he can retire as a Bronco. One thing I've always wondered about these one day contracts is does any money change hands? If so, is it some prorated share of the league minimum?

Pat Yasinskas: No, purely a ceremonial gesture. In the case of Elam, it’s very fitting. Yes, he finished up with the Falcons, but spent the vast majority of his career with Denver.

Chris in Harrisburg, Pa., writes: What did you think of WR Carlton Mitchell and how did he perform at UFS’s pro day? Do you think the Bucs might be looking at him to fill their WR role?

Pat Yasinskas: As I reported yesterday, Mitchell appeared to do very well. Several people who actually have some draft input with their teams said they liked what they saw of Mitchell. This guy already was rising and I think he made sure Tuesday that the trend will continue. I asked one of Mitchell’s agents before the workout which teams seemed to be showing the most interest. Keep in mind it’s an agent’s job to promote his client and the answer went something like: “Any team that wants a receiver with good size, speed and character that can catch the ball should be interested in Carlton.’’ That said, after watching Mitchell’s workout, talking to him and talking to some scouts about him, I tend to agree with the agent’s answer. I think Mitchell might have pushed himself into the second round. I could see the Bucs or the Panthers taking a shot on this kid.

Jeff in Charleston, SC writes: Does Thomas Dimitroff have anyone (besides Jamaal Anderson) on the trade block? Also, is he eyeing any players around the NFL to trade for, or does he just want to stick strictly to the draft now? I would think Jerious Norwood and Jason Snelling have pretty good trade value, right?

Pat Yasinskas: First off, I’m not certain Anderson is actually on the trade block, but that wouldn’t surprise me in the least. Norwood and Snelling are restricted free agents and, so far, there’s been no indication they’re drawing serious interest from other teams, and we’re two weeks away from the end of restricted free agency. Never say never to anything and I’m sure Dimitroff is monitoring everything going on around the league. But he told me last week during the owners meeting that the Falcons now are focusing primarily on the draft.

Richie in New Orleans writes: Big fan of the blog. What are your thoughts on previously injured Saints' draft picks like Stanley Arnoux, Chip Vaughn, and Adrian Arrington? During the drafts, these guys seemed to have a lot of potential, but disappeared after their injuries.

Pat Yasinskas: Glad you brought those guys up because a lot of people have forgotten about them. I’m not saying any of those guys are going to come in and be immediate stars. But the Saints liked all of them when they first brought them in. They view them almost like extra draft picks this year. At very least, Arnoux and Vaughn have a chance to be regulars on special teams this year. Arrington has some nice potential, but the Saints have a deep receiving corps. Still, he’s got a chance to stick on the roster.

Chris in Charlotte writes: Do you think Jacoby Ford will make it to the 2nd Round for the Panthers selection? If not who else you think Carolina could pick up?

Pat Yasinskas: Just sampled some random projections on Ford and I’d guess the odds are pretty good he’ll be available when the Panthers pick in the second round. Seems like a lot of people are projecting him as a third-round guy. Ford is a fast but small receiver. He’d be perfect in the slot. But I think the Panthers might be looking for a bigger receiver (perhaps someone like Mitchell) to take Muhsin Muhammad’s starting place.
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.