- Name: Zaire Mitchell-Paden
- Height: 6052
- Weight: 267 lbs.
- Position: TE
- Draft Class: 2022
- College: Florida Atlantic (2021); Notre Dame College (2017-2020)
- Hometown: Rockville, MD
- High School: Richard Montgomery High School
- Games Watched: 2021 at Florida, 2021 vs Georgia Southern, 2021 at Charlotte, 2021 at Western Kentucky
Background: A multi-game starter for HC Willie Taggert at Florida Atlantic in 2021 after transferring from the Division II program Notre Dame College, where he played from 2017 – 2020. Was a participant in the 2022 NFLPA Collegiate Bowl.
Positives: Size, Offensive Versatility, Pad Level, Hand Placement, Hard Runner vs Zone Coverage, Pulling When Run Blocking Downfield
Negatives: Ankle Flexibility, Inconsistent Run Blocking Effort, Hand Strength, Route Running, Route Tree, Eyes in Pass Protection, Little Production at the FBS level
Projection: A TE that can be developed to fit full-time in an offensive scheme with Erhardt-Perkins, West Coast, or Air Coryell concepts.
Grade: Undrafted Free Agent, will be categorized as a Priority Free Agent (PFA) who will be signed immediately after the draft.
Summary: Mitchell-Paden has prototypical size for TE with great arm length. Is very versatile as he was showcased by Florida Atlantic on the offensive line playing in a three-point stance, in the slot, on the outside, in the backfield as an H-Back, and on special teams. He has an okay first step at the snap, regardless of stance. Shows on film that he is a willing blocker in both the run & pass game. Blocks with a decent base & pad level. Demonstrates good hand placement when engaged with a defender while run blocking, or when blocking on bubble screens. Can be a pulling blocker on read-option plays or designed QB runs. Is a hard, physical runner when running routes against zone coverage, clearing multiple zones. Has the ability to stem his routes downfield on intermediate routes. Has okay hands when catching passes. Only shows adequate hand strength & overall play strength at the point of attack. Displays effort, but does not show any ankle flexibility in pass protection. Tends to keep his eyes inside in pass protection instead of keeping his head on a swivel. The level of effort in run blocking is inconsistent from game to game when plays would progress away from him. Not a polished route runner, tends to round off his cuts on intermediate routes. Showed that he can run a limited route tree. Had very little production in his one season at the FBS level. Mitchell-Paden is the best fit as a TE that can be developed to be used full-time in an offensive scheme with Erhardt-Perkins, West Coast, or Air Coryell concepts where he can be used in multiple ways.
- Speed: C (5)
- Awareness: C- (5)
- Run Blocking: C- (5)
- Pass Blocking: C- (5)
- Route Running: C- (5)
- Catching: C- (5)