-- Dillon Mitchell, WR: If you’re trying to figure out who the best wide receiver in the Pac-12 if, you’d be hard-pressed to find one better than Oregon’s Dillon Mitchell.
Listed at 6-foot-2, 189-pounds, Mitchell has seen his stock rise ridiculously high since conference play started. He leads the Pac-12 in virtually every receiving category since conference play began, totaling 50 catches for 735 yards (122.5 receiving yards per game) and six scores.
A rare combination of size, speed and strength, Mitchell has been beating defenses in a multitude of ways.
He’s a threat across the middle, not being afraid of getting hit and using his strong hands to corral the ball into his body. His precise route-running and knack for finding holes in zone coverages has made him quarterback Justin Herbert’s favorite target, accounting for over one-third of the Ducks’ passing offense.
"It's always great to have him out there," Herbert said of Mitchell after the victory over UCLA. "He's a guy that just makes plays. I think early on in the week we reached out to each other and he was excited to come back and play and I was too. We told each other that were going to do everything we could, and he had a great game today."
Mitchell also has the ability to take the top of defenses, showing off better-than-expected speed to beat defensive backs. More often than not, if Mitchell can get a defensive back to open up his hips, he’s usually won by using his speed to get out of his cuts.
Finally, he’s a massive threat with the ball in his hands. Mitchell’s ability to make defenders miss in small areas is part of what makes him so special. He shows rare quickness and agility in tight quarters, being strong enough to break arm tackles.
Mitchell really saw his stock begin to rise after Oregon’s game against Stanford earlier in the year. He finished the game with 14 catches for 239 yards — setting off a run of four 100+ receiving yard games in the past six.
Once a potential third-day draft pick, it wouldn’t be shocking if Mitchell was to climb to somewhere between rounds 2-4… but that’s if he even decides to enter the NFL draft. He has the ability to take control of games and makes Oregon’s offense successful even while being one-dimensional, a rarity in college football.
Mitchell was recently added to the Biletnikoff award watchlist. If he continues to play well and put big numbers, particularly against a defense as talented as Utah’s, don’t be surprised if he’s one of the finalists for the award given the nation’s top wide receiver.