FanShot

Is the Next Laurent Robinson Already on Dallas' roster?

The Dallas Cowboys signed wide receiver Carlton Mitchell after he was waived by the Jacksonville Jaguars in November 2012. Art 6"3 215 he's very similar in height, weight and speed (a 4.49 combine time) to former Cowboy Laurent Robinson. He also has some of the biggest hands of all Dallas receivers besides Dez Bryant (10 5/8ths inches). Mitchell was a player ESPN Dallas reported the front office scouted prior to the 2010 draft in which the raw underclassman from South Florida went in the sixth round to the Cleveland Browns. Mitchell played five games for Cleveland as a rookie, primarily on special teams, catching three passes for just over thirty yards during his second year (Miles Austin didn't have much better production in 2007). Mitchell had an excellent chance to 'break out' as the third receiver in Cleveland entering his third season, but a leg injury in training camp led to his release. The Jaguars picked him up but again Mitchell was unlucky with both the talent level of the quarterbacks throwing to him (the terrible Blaine Gabbert got benched) and was buried on the depth chart -- thanks to the unexpected rise of Cecil Shorts III. If Mitchell can be developed by our newly hired wide receivers coach from WR U Tennessee, Derek Dooley, he would be another great find for the scouting department. It would also spare us having to use even our 6th round draft pick on a big bodied receiver that might be more badly needed elsewhere (say for a blocking TE like Alabama's Michael Williams or a reserve cornerback). More than likely Mitchell would compete with another big bodied receiver brought in to create competition in training camp -- perhaps a UDFA like Eastern Kentucky's Tyrone Goard. Mitchell turns 25 this April, so there's still time to develop him into a competent third option who could step in as the big target on the outside should either Miles or Dez go down, with Harris or Coale manning the slot. Should Dez and Miles stay healthy, Mitchell could also come in as an outside receiver to allow Miles to work the slot so Harris can focus on his punt and kick return duties. At any rate, as Dallas continues to stockpile defensive tackles and guards in hopes of avoiding using a high draft pick on those positions, it's comforting to know the front office hasn't forgotten about the receiver position in light of Dez Bryant and Miles Austin's injury histories.

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