James Mitchell
No. 82 – Detroit Lions
Position:Tight end
Personal information
Born: (1999-08-11) August 11, 1999 (age 24)
Big Stone Gap, Virginia, U.S.
Height:6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
Weight:246 lb (112 kg)
Career information
High school:Union
(Big Stone Gap, Virginia)
College:Virginia Tech (2018–2021)
NFL draft:2022 / Round: 5 / Pick: 177
Career history
Roster status:Active
Career NFL statistics as of 2023
Receiving yards:141
Receiving touchdowns:1
Player stats at PFR

James "The Governor" Maxell Mitchell (born August 11, 1999) is an American football tight end for the Detroit Lions of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Virginia Tech.

Early years

James Mitchell was born August 11, 1999, to Jimmy and Marcia Mitchell. Mitchell's father is a pastor and his mother played college basketball Brown University.[1] Mitchell grew up in Big Stone Gap, Virginia and attended Union High School where he was a stand out athlete in multiple sports. Mitchell's athleticism was noticed at an early age when he began dunking the ball in middle school while playing JV basketball.[1][2] He committed to play college football at Virginia Tech over offers from Georgia, Duke and Clemson.[3]

College career

Mitchell played in 13 games, primarily on special teams, as a freshman.[4] He became a starter as a sophomore and caught 21 passes for 361 yards with two touchdowns.[5] Mitchell had 26 receptions for 435 yards and four touchdowns as a junior.[6] He was nicknamed "The Governor" during his junior season by his coaching staff and teammates. [7] Mitchell considered entering the 2021 NFL Draft, but opted to stay at Virginia Tech for his senior season.[8] Mitchell was named to the Pre-season All-Atlantic Coast Conference team prior to his senior year and was on the Mackey Award watch list.[9] Mitchell suffered a season-ending injury in the second game of his senior year.[10] Following the end of the season, he announced that he would be entering the 2022 NFL Draft.[11]

Professional career

Pre-draft measurables
Height Weight Arm length Hand span Bench press
6 ft 4 in
(1.93 m)
249 lb
(113 kg)
32+78 in
(0.84 m)
9+34 in
(0.25 m)
18 reps
All values from NFL Combine/Pro Day[12][13]

Mitchell was selected in the fifth round with the 177th overall pick of the 2022 NFL Draft by the Detroit Lions.[14] During Week 8 against the Miami Dolphins, Mitchell recorded his first NFL catch on a 14–yard reception from Jared Goff.[15] On November 6, Mitchell recorded his first NFL touchdown on a three-yard reception against the Green Bay Packers at Ford Field.[16] As a rookie, Mitchell appeared in 14 games. He recorded 11 receptions for 113 receiving yards and one touchdown.[17]


  1. ^ a b Hayes, Tim (April 28, 2022). "NFL Draft hopeful James Mitchell long destined for greatness". Bristol Herald Courier. Retrieved January 2, 2023.
  2. ^ Bitter, Andy (April 17, 2019). "A small-town big star? That could be the case for Virginia Tech TE James Mitchell". The Athletic. Retrieved January 14, 2022.
  3. ^ Gregory, Allen (December 15, 2017). "Union's James Mitchell picks Virginia Tech". Bristol Herald Courier. Retrieved January 14, 2022.
  4. ^ Wood, Norm (May 21, 2019). "Virginia Tech's James Mitchell could be a versatile playmaker next season". The Virginian-Pilot. Retrieved January 14, 2022.
  5. ^ Krull, Jesse (April 14, 2020). "Virginia Tech's James Mitchell staying sharp this spring". WJHL.com. Retrieved September 23, 2021.
  6. ^ Niziolek, Mike (August 30, 2021). "Virginia Tech tight end James Mitchell is ready to finish the race". Roanoke Times. Retrieved September 23, 2021.
  7. ^ https://lionswire.usatoday.com/lists/5-things-to-know-about-new-lions-te-james-mitchell/
  8. ^ Wood, Norm (February 16, 2021). ""I'm back." After decision to return to Virginia Tech, James Mitchell looks forward to improve NFL draft prospects". The Virginian-Pilot. Retrieved January 14, 2022.
  9. ^ Hawkins, Kenny (July 27, 2021). "Hokies James Mitchell named to Pre-season All-ACC team". WJHL.com. Retrieved January 2, 2023.
  10. ^ Hale, David M. (September 13, 2021). "Virginia Tech football star James Mitchell to have season-ending knee surgery". ESPN.com. Retrieved September 23, 2021.
  11. ^ Krull, Jesse (December 7, 2021). "James Mitchell declares for the NFL Draft". WJHL.com. Retrieved January 14, 2022.
  12. ^ "James Mitchell Draft and Combine Prospect Profile". NFL.com. Retrieved July 11, 2022.
  13. ^ "2022 Draft Scout James Mitchell, Virginia Tech NFL Draft Scout College Football Profile". draftscout.com. Retrieved July 11, 2022.
  14. ^ Birkett, Dave (April 30, 2022). "Detroit Lions take Virginia Tech TE James Mitchell with 5th round pick in NFL draft". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved April 30, 2022.
  15. ^ "NFL: James Mitchell (Union) makes first NFL catch in Detroit's loss to Miami". heraldcourier.com. Retrieved June 29, 2023.
  16. ^ "James Mitchell (Union) scores first NFL TD as Detroit beats Green Bay". Bristol Herald Courier - Tricities. November 6, 2022. Retrieved April 16, 2023.
  17. ^ "James Mitchell 2022 Game Log". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved April 16, 2023.