EARL MITCHELL - DEFENSIVE TACKLE | 49ers, Texans, Dolphins, Arizona Wildcats
A team often looks for impact players in the draft, but it is often harder said than done. The Houston Texans were able to land a solid player in Earl Mitchell. A defensive tackle from Arizona, Earl Mitchell showed enough at the collegiate level to be a high selection in the 2010 NFL Draft.
Earl Mitchell didn’t have the typical journey to the pros. His first two years at Arizona he went on to play running back and tight end, but it wasn’t how his journey would play out. A switch to defensive tackle ended up boding well for his collegiate journey. By switching to DT his junior season, Mitchell ended up being a solid prospect and one that would end up making a strong contribution to the Arizona programme. Eight total sacks in his last two seasons lead to him being a third-round selection in the 2010 draft.
Earl began his career with his hometown team of Houston Texans. The Texans opted against signing him to an extension at the end of his rookie contract. Earl Mitchell would end up signing for 4 years and 16 million with the Miami Dolphins in 2014. After three years Mitchell would end up leaving the Miami Dolphins and had to pursue another deal to stay in the league.
Another four year deal was signed by Mitchell, but it was with the San Francisco 49ers. His time in San Francisco didn’t last long as they declined the last two years of his contract and that made him a free agent.
A short stint on the Seattle Seahawks made his career look like it was over. But fortunately San Francisco brought him back on January 1, 2020 for a playoff run that ended up with Mitchell being on the 49ers playoff roster. Earl ended up on a journey to the Super Bowl, the biggest stage in the NFL and Mitchell played a great game with a half sack. For Mitchell to stick around in the NFL for a decade is super impressive, he had a career that many players would envy. Earl Mitchell was able to play on all three levels at the highest level having a very solid career.
You attended the University of Arizona, how was your time and experience playing at college for the Wildcats?
My time at the University of Arizona was amazing. I played offense and defense. I got to play fullback and Tight end with Rob Gronkowski. And when I moved to defense we were able to help get our team to a Bowl game. First time in 10 years! I’m very proud of my time there.
Being drafted in 2010 by the Houston Texans, how was that moment for you and your close ones going to your hometown team?
I wasn’t sure where I was going to get drafted but once I heard my name in the third round, my family was extremely excited. Probably more excited because I was coming home! It was an unforgettable day.
You played in the NFL for around ten years, you must have a many good moments. But what was your favourite time playing in the league?
My favorite time was getting the opportunity to play in the Super Bowl. I didn’t play at all that season but I got the phone call to re-join the team for the playoffs and play in the Super Bowl and I got a sack in the game.
What advice would you have for younger players looking to make it pro and what changes they can take to ensure they might?
Players that want to make it pro need to understand that you need to put in work ON YOUR OWN TIME. You have to have the mentality that you are THE HARDEST worker in the building. You will soon see the benefits of your focus.