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Most underrated player in the NFL Draft is a ‘dominant’ small-college defender who will be a first-round steal

There’s always someone in the NFL draft that shocks dedicated football fans.

Someone who is selected multiple times before they are expected to leave the board.

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There’s always a first-round sleeper who stuns NFL fans and exits the board faster than expectedCredit: Getty

Someone who is overlooked for months and constantly underestimated, then suddenly hears his name called 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 person could be a small-college defender from a school that has produced just one first-round pick in history.

A senior defensive back on a college team that plays in the Mid-American Conference is overlooked and undervalued less than a month before the first-round countdown begins, according to ESPN NFL Draft analyst Matt Miller. April 25 in Detroit.

The most underrated player in the draft is…

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

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

Mitchell’s name may not be a household name, but he’s clearly drawing interest from the first round.

The 6-foot-195-pound corner was listed 17th overall by 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 on the rise

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

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

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

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

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“Mitchell has a multitude of attributes, with size, strength and speed filling the pot,” NFL.com published. “He’s built like a running back, tackles like a safety and has the ball skills of a cornerback.”

Miller was impressed with Mitchell during his workouts, saying the former Rocket “checked all the boxes.”

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

“When I look at a scouting report on a player, it’s, ‘Oh, did he do this, did he do that?’ Miller said. “He did everything and he did it at a very 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 the hype of the Alabama guys or the Clemson guys.

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

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