Georgia receiver Malcolm Mitchell, a talented junior who was considered a good prospect for the 2014 NFL draft, blew out his knee in the team’s opener while celebrating a teammate’s touchdown.
Coach Mark Richt confirmed that Mitchell has a torn ACL and that it happened when Mitchell jumped up in the end zone to celebrate teammate Todd Gurley’s touchdown run.
“He actually hurt it in the exuberance of the first touchdown of the game for us, when he went to congratulate his teammate,” Richt said. “They went up and chest-bumped, or whatever, and he landed in a bad way.”
Barring the injury and with a good year, Mitchell probably would have given up his final season of NCAA eligibility and declared for the 2014 NFL draft. But Richt told the Albany Herald that he expects Mitchell to apply for a medical redshirt. That would give Mitchell the option of having two more years of college eligibility, playing for Georgia in both 2014 and 2015 and then entering the 2016 NFL draft.
But a better option for Mitchell may be to start focusing on the 2014 NFL draft right now. He has already put plenty on tape that NFL scouts like: He’s a good receiver, he has returned punts and kickoffs and he has even played some cornerback. NFL teams know that Mitchell is a good football player, and he still has eight months to rehab his knee and get into good enough shape to work out for teams before the draft, which begins on May 8 next year.
That unfortunate touchdown celebration may have been Mitchell’s last moment in college football. The next time he steps on a football field, he may be getting paid for it.