Draft Prospect Outlook:
Plays faster than his timed speed to go along with impressive agility it the open field. Battled injuries in college. Useful on reverses and bubble screens. Quality ball-tracking but not a contested-catch player. Needs to get North-South quicker at times. Not overly physical.
Steven Mitchell Jr. was one of the most explosive and dynamic receivers in the country coming out of Bishop Alemany in 2013. But Mitchell Jr. battled a few major injuries that hindered his career at USC. After enrolling he was forced to redshirt after tearing ligaments in his knee. As a redshirt freshman he caught seven passes for 82 yards, but he also dealt with a knee sprain and a hernia. He bounced back the following year with action in 12 games, starting six. He was second on the team with 37 receptions, 335 yards and four TDs. Mitchell Jr. was expected to break out in 2016 as USC’s veteran starter in the slot. He started three games but only played in seven after injuring his knee during a punt return against Arizona. He finished the season with 24 catches, 226 yards and one TD.
USC lost a pair of receivers in Juju Smith-Schuster and Darreus Rogers post-2016, shifting the load to Deontay Burnett and the veteran Mitchell Jr. -- if he could stay healthy. The former four-star recruit and U.S. Army All-American exceeded expectations, catching 41 passes for 644 yards and four TDs as an outside receiver. Mitchell Jr. never quite had the same explosiveness he displayed coming out of high school, but he was one of USC's shiftier receivers in 2017. -- Chris Trevino