Max Mitchell, a promising and versatile offensive lineman from Louisiana who was taken in the fourth round (No. 111) of the 2022 NFL Draft, has signed his rookie contract with the Jets.
Mitchell (6-6, 307), who is from Monroe, LA, said that he had never been to the New York/New Jersey metropolitan area prior to rookie minicamp, adding that he’s excited to experience a new environment and the new challenges awaiting him at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center and in the NFL.
“I’m excited for a new step in my life,” he said after getting drafted. “It’s the next step for me and I couldn’t be happier to be taking that step. Dreams do come true.”
Mitchell, 22, a four-year starter at Louisiana, adds depth to the Jets’ offensive line. He has played left and right tackle, and left guard and now joins a unit that is poised to provide protection for second-year QB Zach Wilson and block for the running backs in OC Mike LaFleur’s wide-zone scheme. At present, and with several months to go before the start of the 2022 NFL season, the Jets have a tentative starting offensive line that includes tackles George Fant and Mekhi Becton; guards Laken Tomlinson and Alijah Vera-Tucker; and center Connor McGovern. The Jets also re-signed Dan Feeney and Conor McDermott and retained Greg Van Roten, Chuma Edoga and others.
Mitchell was a starter as a freshman for the Ragin’ Cajuns. In the past three years he started and played in 37 games; 29 of those starts, including all 13 this past season, were at right tackle, with 7 at LT and 1 at LG. He was named All-Sun Belt Conference second team in ’20 and to the first team after last season.
“I’m versatile, I’m tough, I’m athletic and I’m resilient,” he told reporters after being drafted on Saturday. “I don’t quit. I’m a hard worker. I’m here to contend. I’m ready to go.”
Mitchell’s versatility, nimble feet and strength were particularly appealing to the Jets as they build around Wilson and look to unleash the rushing attack that features second-year RB Michael Carter and which has added Breece Hall of Iowa State, who many analysts considered to be the best running back in this year’s draft.
“We feel like Max can be a versatile piece on our offensive line,” Jets general manager Joe Douglas said of Mitchell. “The guy was at the Senior Bowl [where the Jets’ coaching staff oversaw the National team and got an advance look at the talent]. He’s very competitive. He’s been practicing at tackle and guard and snapping the ball at center. We feel like he could be another versatile piece to put on the offensive line.”
During this year’s draft, the Jets added four players on offense — Mitchell, WR Garrett Wilson (No. 10), Hall (No. 36) and tight end Jeremy Ruckert (No. 101).
“I knew they had some interest,” Mitchell said. “I wasn’t surprised [they picked me]but I was excited.”